Home / National News / Racial Divisions Define Opinions on the Trayvon Martin Shooting


(NEW YORK) — Americans are divided along racial lines on the Travyon Martin shooting, with blacks overwhelmingly calling it unjustified while whites are more apt to withhold judgment. But few in either group are ready to see the fatal shooting of the unarmed Florida teenager as justified.

Those views reflect other differences between the races in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. Blacks are more apt than whites to oppose “stand your ground” laws allowing the use of deadly force in response to threatening situations. And blacks very broadly feel that racial minorities receive unequal treatment in the criminal justice system; whites divide on this.

Overall, 44 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, see the shooting of the 17-year-old by a white Hispanic community watch volunteer in a Florida subdivision as unjustified; that includes 38 percent of whites, but soars to 80 percent of African-Americans. Instead 56 percent of whites – but just 19 percent of blacks – feel they don’t know enough to say.

Very few in either group, 1 percent of blacks and 5 percent of whites, call the shooting justified.

For their part, people of other races – neither white nor African-American – divide evenly on whether the shooting was unjustified (47 percent) or they don’t know enough to say (50 percent) – placing them slightly closer to whites than blacks on this question.

Read the full results of this poll here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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