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Poll: Trayvon Martin Opinion Break Along Racial Lines

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The shooting death of Trayvon Martin has triggered marches and rallies across the country. But, the latest polling showed that views of the incident have broken down along racial lines.

According to the latest Gallup poll on the incident, 51 percent of African-Americans believe the shooter in the Trayvon Martin case, is "definitely guilty" of a crime. Those numbers compared to just 11 percent of non African-Americans.

Twenty-one percent of non African-Americans believe Zimmerman is "probably guilty" of a crime, which is the exact same rate among African-Americans. But 61 percent of non African-Americans said it's unclear if Zimmerman committed a crime based on the currently available information.

Overall, 85 percent of African-Americans believed that racial bias played at least a minor factor in the events leading up to the shooting and the shooting itself. Fifty-seven percent of non African-Americans said racial bias played at least a minor factor in the shooting.

Finally, the poll found that 73 percent of African-Americans believed that Zimmerman would have been arrested if the person he shot had been white, compared to just 35 percent of non African-Americans agreeing with the same statement.

Gallup said the breakdown follows closely with polling done about the murder trial of O.J. Simpson.

In October 1995, Gallup found 78 percent of African-Americans said the jury made the right decision not finding Simpson guilty, while only 42 percent of whites agreed.

"Whatever happens, however, it is clear that the case struck a highly responsive chord with blacks across the country, and that blacks' immediate judgments are that this represents still another example of a racially biased criminal justice system," Gallup said in its analysis.


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