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Black, white Americans see law enforcement differently

| May 23, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Pew Research Center surveys and other studies have looked at attitudes toward crime, police and punishment and found that black respondents tend to be more concerned about crime in their communities than white respondents. White Americans in Virginia and throughout the country may be more likely to report satisfaction with the job performance of police than black Americans.

Fewer than two-thirds of white adults surveyed said that the criminal justice system treated blacks less fairly than whites while almost 90% of black respondents agreed with this statement. The survey also found that 63% of white respondents compared to 84% of black respondents said that law enforcement also treated blacks less fairly. This is supported by a 2017 study in which respondents were asked to rate their feelings about police on a temperature scale where 100 was the warmest and most positive. The mean rating given by white respondents for police was 72 while it was 47 for black respondents.

In a 2018 survey, significantly more black respondents, 82%, said gun crime was a problem compared to 46% of white respondents. However, just 36% were in favor of the death penalty compared to 59% of whites. In a different survey, 68% of whites and 83% of blacks said they favored restoring voting rights to people convicted of felonies.

People who are facing charges for any type of crime may want to contact an attorney to discuss defense strategies. A person’s options may vary depending on the circumstances of the charges, the evidence and whether the person has a prior record. In some cases, an attorney might seek to get the case dropped altogether. This might happen if evidence was gathered illegally. A trial might be the best option in other cases while some people may prefer a plea bargain.