Story at a glance

  • The poll found 71 percent of Black Americans said they know “a lot” or “some” people personally who received unfair treatment from police.
  • Half say they know “some” or “a lot” of people unfairly sent to jail.
  • A little more than half say they know people who remained in jail because they didn’t have enough money for bail.

A majority of Black Americans say they know people who have been treated unfairly by police, while half report knowing individuals who have been unfairly sent to jail or remained in jail because they couldn't post bail, according to a new Gallup poll

The poll released Monday found 71 percent of Black adults in the U.S. say they know “a lot” or “some” people personally who were treated unfairly by police, a significantly higher figure compared to responses from white, Asian and Hispanic Americans. The number is higher among Black adults aged 18 to 44 at 83 percent. 


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The survey found 51 percent of Asian Americans said they know people who were treated unfairly by law enforcement, while 48 percent of Hispanics and 34 percent of white adults said the same. 

While half of Black adults say they know people who were unfairly sent to jail, just 24 percent of Hispanics, 16 percent of Asians and only 13 percent of white Americans gave the same response. More than half of Black adults report knowing people who stayed in jail because they didn’t have enough money for bail, compared with 31 percent of Hispanics, 16 percent of whites and 12 percent of Asians. 

The survey was conducted online from June 23 through July 6 using the Gallup Panel, a probability-based panel of U.S. adults. 

The results come months after the police killing of George Floyd, which kicked off massive protests and sparked a racial reckoning in the U.S. that has brought the issues of racial inequality and police brutality to the center of the national debate. 

A Guardian/Opinium Research poll of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted between June 19 and June 24 found 91 percent of Americans consider racism to be a problem in the U.S., with 72 percent agreeing it is a serious problem. The survey found 89 percent of Americans think police violence is a problem, with 65 percent considering it serious.

Published on Aug 03, 2020