US police interactions with blacks more tense: Survey
Interactions between US police and African Americans have become more intense after the recent wave of protests over the death of unarmed black men by the hands of white officers, a new study shows.
According to the Pew Research Center survey released on Wednesday, around 75 percent of American cops felt they felt a strong anti-police feeling among the public following the protests.
About two thirds of the officers thought the public response to the shooting deaths of black men were motivated “a great deal” by a general bias towards the law enforcement.
Two thirds of the officers thought the excessive use of force against black suspects was not a broad issue and such incidents were isolated.
This is while 60 percent of the public do not agree with the police officers and think the killings are indeed the symptoms of a systemic problem, according to a separate study by Pew.
Interestingly, more than 90 percent of the police officers surveyed by Pew said they had more concerns about their safety due to the protests.
Over the past few months, a growing number of ambush style attacks have been reported against US police officers.
Last year, a total of 135 US police officers were killed in the line of duty, 21 of them in ambush attacks.
The number of those killed or injured by US police appears significantly higher as “on an average day, three people die and 150 people are treated at a hospital because they are injured by police,” according to Ted Miller with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.
Anti-police sentiments peaked towards the end of 2016, following the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two African Americans who lost their lives at the hands of US police in separate incidents in the US states of Louisiana and Minnesota respectively.
Massive protests were subsequently held across the country by Black Lives Matter activists, outraged after videos showing their deaths were released.