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Minorities in the Suburbs Have the Least Trust in Local Police

Whether you have confidence in law enforcement largely depends on where you live and whether you're white or not, according to our State of the City Poll. 
People are moved by a line of police as authorities disperse a protest in Ferguson early Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
People are moved by a line of police as authorities disperse a protest in Ferguson early Wednesday, August 20, 2014.AP/Charlie Riedel

In the continued wake of the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, plenty of Americans may well be asking themselves: Do I have confidence in my local police department? Your answer, according to the new Atlantic Media/Siemens State of the City poll, largely depends on what type of community you live in and what color your skin is.  

The survey, which was conducted from July 23 to August 4, before Brown was killed, revealed significant differences along racial lines when it comes to confidence in local police. In cities, just 35 percent of urban minorities said they had “a lot” of confidence in the cops where they live, compared with 48 percent of urban whites. Fully 25 percent of minorities in U.S. cities—one out of four—said they had either “not much” or “no confidence” in their local law enforcement, compared to 13 percent of urban whites who expressed a similar lack of faith.