Poll: Majority of Americans think police treat white people better than black people

Poll: Majority of Americans think police treat white people better than black people
© JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP via Getty Images

The majority of Americans said they think the police treat white people better than they treat black people, according to a new poll. 

Fifty-seven percent of surveyed Americans said they think the police treat white people better than they treat black people, according to a CBS News poll released Tuesday. 

The poll found that 39 percent said they think the police treat both groups equally, and just 4 percent said they think the police treat black people better than white people. 

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The margin is even wider among black Americans. An overwhelming 78 percent of surveyed black Americans said police treat white people better, and just 19 percent said the police treat both groups equally, according to the poll. 

Among surveyed white people, the views are more evenly split with a slim 52 percent majority saying the police treat white people better and 45 percent saying the police treat both groups equally, based on the poll. 

The views were also split by party. An overwhelming 80 percent of Democrats said that police treat white people better than they treat black people, and just 17 percent of Democrats said the police treat the groups equally, based on the poll. 

Similarly, a majority of independents, 59 percent, said police treat white people better than black people and 38 percent said the police treat both groups equally, based on the poll. 

Among Republicans, however, 61 percent said police treat both groups equally and only 29 percent said that police treat white people better than they treat black people, based on the poll. 

The poll surveyed 2,071 U.S. adults. There is a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points. 

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The poll was conducted between March 29 and June 1, as protests over police brutality broke out across the country in response to the death of George Floyd

Floyd died last week in Minneapolis police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes with Floyd saying he could not breathe. Eventually, Floyd's body was unresponsive, and he was pronounced dead 90 minutes after his arrest.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

Three other officers involved at the scene were fired but have not been charged.