More than half of adults say race relations in the United States have worsened under President Obama, according to a new poll.
Fifty-three percent of respondents said race relations have gotten worse under the first black president, according to the Bloomberg politics poll. Nine percent think they’ve gotten better and 36 percent say they’ve stayed about the same.
Race relations in the country have come under renewed scrutiny in the wake of two recent grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers who were involved in the deaths of unarmed black men.
Fifty-two percent of Americans agreed with a Ferguson, Mo. grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown over the summer, and 36 percent disagreed.
Sixty-four percent of whites agreed with the decision in Ferguson, compared to 89 percent of blacks who disagreed.
In New York City, meanwhile, 60 percent of Americans disagreed with a grand jury’s declining to bring criminal charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of 43-year-old Eric Garner on Staten Island over the summer.
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As was the case with Ferguson, the question was sharply divided along racial lines there as well, though a majority of both whites and blacks disagreed with the decision. Fifty-two percent of whites and 90 percent of blacks disagreed with the grand jury’s decision in the case of Garner, who had been questioned on suspicion of illegally selling cigarettes.
The survey of 1,001 adults was taken from Dec. 3-5 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.