Photo: George Zimmerman
Blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites to believe that George Zimmerman would have been arrested immediately had he shot a white person, according to a newly published study.
Blacks are more likely than both Hispanics and whites to believe race was a factor in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager. And blacks also are more likely than whites to follow the court case closely. Hispanics are less likely than all groups to follow the case closely.
These are among the conclusions found in the study published in the Journal of Crime and Justice, just as the criminal case against Zimmerman begins.
University of Central Florida associate professor Kareem Jordan and Penn State professor Shaun L. Gabbidon conducted the study with data from a 2012 USA Today/Gallup Poll.
They analyzed the data to address three questions: Did you perceive that race played a role in the shooting? Had the victim been white, do you perceive the suspect would have been arrested sooner? And how closely will you be following the case?
“The study shows that the racial divide in public opinion is alive and well,” Jordan said. “Blacks continue to feel the greatest sense of criminal injustice, followed by Hispanics and whites. But in certain instances, the views of blacks and Hispanics can be different. Some things we found we anticipated, but others were a bit surprising.”