Far More Whites Believe It's Okay for Cops to Hit People than Blacks and Latinos

Seventy percent of white people approve of police officers striking people, far out numbering the percentage of black and Hispanic people who feel the same, according to 2014 General Social Survey.


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At least 7 in 10 white people polled in the study believe there are situations that call for a police officer using force against a male citizen. Only 42 percent of black people and 38 percent of Latinos feel the same.

Here are some more more highlights from the study, as detailed by the Associated Press:

  • Sixty-nine percent of white people and 50 percent of Hispanic people approve of officers hitting suspects trying escape custody, but only 42 percent of black people agree.

  • Sixty-six percent of white people are OK with the death penalty being used against convicted murderers; 44 percent of black people and 48 percent of Hispanic people agree.

  • Hispanic, white and black people seemed to approve of cops hitting suspects, if they are attacked with fists. Nine in 10 whites approve; 74 percent of Hispanic and white people approve.

  • Twenty-four percent of black people approve of hitting a murder suspect who is being questioned, while 18 percent of Hispanics and 12 percent of whites approve.  

The results of the study aren’t surprising, given how black and Hispanic people are disproportionately killed by cops and hyper-policed when compared to white citizens. In December, an NBC/Marist College poll reported that 52 percent of white people have a “great deal” of confidence that officers in their communities treat white and black people the same; Only 12 percent of black people agreed with that sentiment.

"My strong sense is that African Americans and Hispanics have too often experienced or have heard of experiences of police officers acting unfairly, so they're less willing to support the use of force by police officers," Charles R. Epp, a University of Kansas professor whose research focuses on race and police stops, told the Associated Press. "They're not sure it will be used fairly."

Not sure if we needed a study to tell us all of this but, you know, every bit of documentation that proves how black and Hispanic people view the cops differently helps.

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