Race in America: Focus group gets fired up

Racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, are still simmering after an unarmed 18-year-old, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a police officer in August.

While the town waits for the results of several investigations, Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for "wholesale change" in the Ferguson Police Department.

In order to better understand how Americans perceive issues like those at play in Ferguson, Republican strategist and CBS News contributor Frank Luntz brought together 17 people to talk about race relations.

Among the participants, Luntz found that the majority of them thought race relations were getting worse in America and the country is more segregated than before.

In discussing Ferguson, Luntz said he was concerned the pent-up energy and frustrations would overflow when the grand jury makes a decision on the Michael Brown case.

"And what we've seen up to this point may only be a precursor to what happens," Luntz said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."This is a conversation that needs to happen, and it can be led by people in Washington if they decide that they don't want to score political points and they actually truly want to listen."

Luntz said this was one of the most heated and emotional focus groups he has moderated.

"They were calm until we got into this issue [of race]," Luntz said Thursday on "CBS This Morning." "What viewers would be interested in knowing is that there were several minutes when I stepped out to talk to the CBS producer and the conversation continued, and it continued just as heated."

Watch the discussion above.