Racial tensions have grown in the days since unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was black. Darren Wilson, the officer who shot him at least six times, is white. Then, almost immediately after Brown’s killing was made public, throngs of mostly black protesters hit the streets of Ferguson to demand justice. They were met by a almost completely white police force. Despite this pretty obvious dynamic, a majority of whites polled recently about the situation in Ferguson seem to think race isn’t a factor.
A new HuffPost/YouGov poll found that the majority of whites polled (40%) believe Brown’s killing was an isolated incident. Slightly fewer (35%) said they believe it represents a broader pattern of how police treat Black men. Black Americans, however, agree in large part (76%) that Brown’s killing is part of a broader pattern. It’s important to note, however, that 6% of Blacks polled said they believe it was an isolated incident.