The controversy over the death of Trayvon Martin has highlighted issues relating to the treatment of blacks by local police departments, the state of race relations in the U.S. and press coverage of African Americans. Pew Research Center surveys in recent years have covered the opinions of blacks and whites on these and other issues.
A 2009 survey by Pew Social Demographic Trends found that blacks had far less confidence than whites in their local police in a number of areas, including their treatment of racial groups.
Just 14% of African Americans said they had a great deal of confidence in local police officers to treat blacks and whites equally. More than twice as many whites (38%) had a great deal of confidence in the local police to provide equal treatment. More than three times as many blacks as whites said they had very little confidence in their local police to treat the races equally (34% vs. 9%). Blacks’ confidence in local police to provide equal treatment was little changed from 2007 or 1995.
Read the full analysis, Views of Law Enforcement, Racial Progress and News Coverage of Race, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' website.