Study Says Over Half Of Black People Think Police Treated Them Unfairly

Half of the United States' African Americans said they experienced excessive cruelty from police officers because of their race.

This was one of the several statistics found by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research when it surveyed 1,223 adults -- 311 of whom were black -- last month.

Over 60 percent of black participants said police treated them or a family member unfairly because of race, according to the Associated Press. On the other hand, only 3 percent of white participants claimed to suffer unfair treatment due to race.

When asked if local police treat minorities unfairly, 58 percent of white participants who lived in diverse neighborhoods said yes, while only 42 percent of white participants who are not considered to be living in diverse communities agreed. Researchers also found 42 percent of the former group believes police resort to lethal force too hastily compared with only 29 percent of the latter.

Over 7o percent of African Americans believe police are not punished accordingly when people are killed or injured, but 46 percent of whites disagreed.

Participants were additionally asked about the reasons for violent police activity, and in response, 62 percent of whites said it is caused by civilians refusing to cooperate with orders. Of the African American participants, however, 75 percent said police violence is motivated by the lack of punishment for excessive use of force and the lenient penalties issued for police misconduct.

Trust in the local police was observed in 72 percent of whites, but contrastingly, 66 percent of blacks gave the opposite opinion, saying local police only make the right decision some of the time -- if that.

When asked about race affecting the likelihood of local officers using lethal force, a whopping 71 percent of black participants said police are more likely to use such force on the community's black residents, but 74 percent of white participants said race is not at all a factor in the police's decision to use lethal force.

With the one-year anniversary of the Ferguson shooting recently passing, all of this information comes at a tense time, and hopefully, it will spark some important conversations.

Citations: Half of blacks say police have treated them unfairly (Associated Press)