WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. whites and African Americans sharply disagree over a police shooting of a black teen that has rocked a town in the U.S. state of Missouri and sparked riots and ongoing protests, showed a poll released Monday.
Most blacks have already made up their minds that the policeman should be found guilty, a poll released by U.S. polling company Rasmussen Reports found. Blacks are also more convinced that the violent protests since the shooting are mostly legitimate outrage rather than criminal activity.
The poll found 23 percent of all American adults believe the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, should be found guilty of murder. Twenty-six percent think he was acting in self-defense and 51 percent are undecided.
Fifty-seven percent of black adults, however, think police officer Darren Wilson should be found guilty of murder, compared to just 17 percent of whites and 24 percent of other minority Americans. Most whites -- 56 percent -- and a plurality -- 46 percent -- of other minorities are undecided.
A similar racial divide could be seen throughout the trial of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed a black teenager in Florida in 2012 and was subsequently found not guilty in a jury trial.
When it comes to the mob violence that has occurred in Ferguson since the shooting, 25 percent of Americans think it has been primarily legitimate outrage over what happened. But 52 percent think it has been mostly criminals taking advantage of the situation, and another 23 percent are not sure.
While most whites and minority Americans believe the violence has been chiefly criminals taking advantage of the situation, just 35 percent of blacks agree. Slightly more -- 41 percent -- think the mob violence has been primarily legitimate outrage, a view shared by 24 percent of whites.