A man with a skateboard protesting Michael Brown's murder walks away from tear gas released by police on Aug. 17 in Ferguson, Missouri. Joshua Lott/Getty Images

There's a clear racial divide on faith in official inquiries regarding Michael Brown's shooting.

No matter how badly Missouri officials want to make Michael Brown's death—and the response to it by protesters and police in Ferguson—not about race, reactions to what has happened there over the last week are starkly racially divided.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that white Americans have much more confidence than black Americans in the multiple government investigations into exactly what led up to the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown:

Similarly, while 65 percent of black respondents told Pew that they believe the police response to the shooting "has gone too far," only 33 percent of white Americans said the same. Explicit questions of race have Americans even more divided, with 37 percent of white respondents saying that the shooting "raises important issues about race," compared with 80 percent of black respondents.

The divide shows up even when you look at just who is paying attention to what's happening on the ground. Fifty-four percent of non-Hispanic black Americans say they followed news out of Ferguson last week very closely, compared with only 25 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

Protests and police crackdowns in Ferguson don't look likely to end anytime soon, with the National Guard moving in and more details on the shooting by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson slowly coming out. But one week in, a clear divide in how Americans view what happened there, and what could happen now in response, is obvious.

This post originally appeared on National Journal, an Atlantic partner site.

MORE FROM NATIONAL JOURNAL:

Vulnerable Incumbents Were Most Likely to Stray From Party Line This Congress

Jake Tapper on Ferguson Police: 'This Doesn't Make Any Sense.'

What a Getty Photographer Captured Before He Was Arrested in Ferguson

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Maps

    Your Maps of Life Under Lockdown

    Stressful commutes, unexpected routines, and emergent wildlife appear in your homemade maps of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

  2. photo: Social-distancing stickers help elevator passengers at an IKEA store in Berlin.
    Transportation

    Elevators Changed Cities. Will Coronavirus Change Elevators?

    Fear of crowds in small spaces in the pandemic is spurring new norms and technological changes for the people-moving machines that make skyscrapers possible.

  3. photo: The Pan-Am Worldport at JFK International Airport, built in 1960,
    Design

    Why Airports Die

    Expensive to build, hard to adapt to other uses, and now facing massive pandemic-related challenges, airport terminals often live short, difficult lives.

  4. photo: an open-plan office
    Life

    Even the Pandemic Can’t Kill the Open-Plan Office

    Even before coronavirus, many workers hated the open-plan office. Now that shared work spaces are a public health risk, employers are rethinking office design.

  5. Maps

    Visualizing the Hidden ‘Logic’ of Cities

    Some cities’ roads follow regimented grids. Others twist and turn. See it all on one chart.

×