NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the wake of high profile killings of unarmed black men by police, Americans feel blacks are treated less fairly today than they were in 2007, according to survey results released on Tuesday.
Whites, blacks and Hispanics also expressed a new low in their satisfaction with the way blacks are treated in U.S. society, according to the Gallup 2015 Minority Rights and Relations poll.
Overall, about 49 percent of respondents said they were satisfied, compared to 62 percent just two years ago, pollsters said.
The survey of more than 2,000 respondents, conducted from June 15 until July 10, comes at a tense time between U.S. law enforcement and the communities in which they operate, particularly after grand jury decisions not to indict white officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City.
“The effects of those incidents have led to an increase in the U.S. public’s perceptions of race relations as the most important problem in the country, a decline in confidence in the police and a significant decrease in Americans’ satisfaction with the way blacks are treated in the U.S.,” Gallup said on its website.
The decline in satisfaction among blacks (33 percent in 2015 compared to 47 percent in 2013) was expressed “even though blacks themselves are no more likely than two years ago to report being treated unfairly in various situations because of their race, including dealing with the police,” Gallup said.
Satisfaction with the way blacks are treated also dropped among whites (53 percent in 2015 compared to 67 percent in 2013) and Hispanics (44 percent in 2015 compared to 61 percent in 2013), poll results showed.
“Americans are also now more likely to perceive that blacks are treated unfairly in various situations, including dealing with the police, but also at work, when shopping and when visiting restaurants and other establishments,” the survey organization said.
Respondents said blacks were treated unfairly in neighborhood shops (25 percent in 2015 compared to 15 percent in 2007) and downtown stores and shopping malls (29 percent in 2015, 19 percent in 2007). There was less change in perceptions concerning law enforcement, with 43 percent of respondents in 2015 saying blacks were treated less fairly in dealings with police, such as traffic incidents, compared to 37 percent in 2007.
The random telephone survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Sandra Maler