“If you can find a single person in this community who trusts the police, that is like finding a four-leafed clover.”
“Everybody in this city has been a victim of DWB [driving while black].”
"The first question is 'Do you have any guns, do you have any drugs, anything of that nature?' I am like sir, I don't even have a record. I have never been in trouble."
"And then he looked at me and he said, 'Mom, how long will this happen to me?' And I said, 'For the rest of your life.'"
The quotes from Ferguson, Missouri, tell a story. The city’s residents, who are mostly black, generally distrust the local police forces, who are almost entirely white. Stop-and-search statistics reveal a history of racial profiling in the community.
While the focus for the last two weeks has been on the specific racial tensions boiling over in the St. Louis suburbs, Gallup rounded up several years of polling data showing that these stories about black distrust of the police in Ferguson match with broader perceptions among African Americans nationwide. Black Ferguson residents’ lack of faith is representative of broader national attitudes. Gallup finds there's a more-than-2o-point gap between the portion of blacks and whites who mostly trust the police.