Poll Finds Most White American Christians Say Police Killings of Black Men Are Isolated Incidents

People take part in a protest against the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile during a march in New York July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Most white U.S. Christians across denominational lines believe that police killings of African-American men are isolated incidents, according to the findings of a recently released survey.  

The Public Religion Research Institute released a report last Friday which found that majorities of white evangelicals (72%), white Catholics (56%), and white mainline Protestants (53%) viewed police killings of black men to be isolated incidents.

The percentage of white evangelical respondents expressing this opinion was basically unchanged when compared to polls taken in October 2018 (71%) and October 2015 (72%).

By contrast, both white Catholics and white mainline Protestants saw a considerable decline in the percentage of respondents who believed that the killings are isolated incidents. In October 2015, 71% of white Catholics and 73% of white mainline Protestants felt that the killings were isolated incidents.

White respondents who identified as religiously unaffiliated were far less likely to agree, with 30% surveyed in June saying they were isolated incidents.

Overall, 42% of Americans said they were isolated incidents, down from 53% in 2015.

For the June 2020 data, PRRI drew from an online survey conducted June 26-29 of 1,016 U.S. adults from all 50 states, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski