By Laura Stampler
November 18, 2014

A Gallup poll released Tuesday reveals that non-white Americans are less likely to feel that the police are serve and protect them.

The results, published as a grand jury weighs whether to charge a white police officer in the Ferguson, Mo., shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in August, show that 60% of white Americans surveyed last month said they trust the police, while 49% of non-whites felt similarly.

Despite the disparity, the 11-point gap is actually smaller than its average of 14 points since 1985. The lowest level of confidence in police (47% for whites and 33% for nonwhites) occurred after police were sentenced to 30-months in jail for their involvement with Rodney King’s beating.

Still, Gallup found, most Americans generally think their local police squads will protect them from violent crimes — 57%, just higher than the average for previous polls since 1981.

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