Most All Agree: Police Treat Blacks Differently

images-2Here are the results of a recent poll by the National Bar Association. It was reported by Byron Dobson of the “Tallahassee Democrat”  on September 9, 2015.

To me, the poll reveals the climate in work our nation’s police have to work; good cops and bad cops; good police departments and bad ones. This is the sea in which they swim. And it begs some important response from those who lead our cities and our police.


“Sharp differences exist between the way blacks and whites view the treatment of blacks by police, according to a poll being released Wednesday by the National Bar Association, the organization of black lawyers and judges.

“According to the poll, 88% of blacks believe black people are treated unfairly by police, compared to 59% of whites who share that view.

“In the South, those differences are even more stark. In the South, considered to be the region stretching from Florida to Delaware, it’s a view held by 90% of blacks but just 55% of whites. In the Northeast, by comparison, the gap is much narrower — 74% of blacks say police treat blacks unfairly compared to 63% of whites.

“But more whites, 67%, compared to blacks, 52%, said police are misunderstood by black people…

“’Our national conversation about race has been going on for a long time, and it’s encouraging to see signs of progress… However, 50 years of conversation is too long without seeing more movement and, to a certain extent, regression. This survey shows that clearly there remains work to be done…’

“In response to the statement that certain races are genetically superior or inferior, both black and white respondents strongly disagreed, with whites at 88% and blacks at 74%. However, the difference in opinion across the racial divide was more pronounced among younger respondents. Ninety-four percent of whites between the ages of 18 and 34 disagreed that certain races are genetically superior or inferior, while 67% of blacks in the same age group disagreed.

“Younger Americans also report avoiding interactions with people of other backgrounds to a greater extent than older Americans… These findings validate the need for improved communications within communities, and more engagement from public, private and non-profit leaders.”

  • “To the statement that most black people are racists, only 11% of black respondents agreed, while 27% of whites agreed.
  • “To the statement that most white people are racists, 41% of blacks agreed, as opposed to 28% of whites.
  • “To the statement that the media fuels racial tension, both whites (88%) and blacks (78%) agreed.
  • “To the statement that the news media portrays people fairly based on race, 74% of whites disagreed, and 70% of blacks disagreed.

“These findings should concern all citizens and public officials who still see the need to build a greater sense of community after so many years of policy progress… There is significant work to be done — especially among young adults who don’t see positive change around them.

“While they’ve grown up at a time when we’ve made considerable advances in creating more racially inclusive communities, clearly we all have a lot more work to do.”

Read the full article HERE.

  • As police officers in a society that proclaims the dignity and worth of ALL people, what does this call us to do and be?