Nearly 6 in 10 say racism is serious problem in US: poll

People walk past a mural showing the face of George Floyd
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Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say that racism is a serious problem in the United States, according to a poll from The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs released Friday.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said that racism is either an “extremely” or “very serious” problem in the U.S. Of this, 30 percent said racism was an “extremely serious” problem while 29 percent said it was a “very serious problem.”

There were large gaps between how Black and white Americans perceived racism. For example, 60 percent of Black Americans surveyed said racism is an “extremely serious problem,” compared with 23 percent of white Americans.

The survey sought to examine attitudes on race nearly one year after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked demonstrations across the country and led to calls for police reform. 

Bystander footage that went viral one year ago showed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, resulting in his death.

A jury convicted Chauvin in April of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter, in Floyd’s death. Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

Three other police officers at the scene — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Kueng — are also facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Their trial has been moved from August to March so that they could stand trial for federal charges that were brought against them, along with Chauvin.

Most Americans surveyed said the attention brought to police reform as a result of Floyd’s case yielded little change.

Twenty-four percent of Americans said the attention mostly brought change for the better, while 44 percent said there was not much difference. Thirty-one percent said it mostly brought change for the worst.

The poll surveyed 1,842 adults from April 29 to May 2. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Tags Derek Chauvin George Floyd George Floyd killing police brutality Polling racism in America
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