A new poll shows that nearly half of Americans believe race relations have worsened over the course of the presidency of Barack Obama, the first half-black man elected to the White House.
The CNN poll found 39 percent believe relations between blacks and whites have gotten worse, not better, since Mr. Obama took office in January 2009. Just 15 percent say relations have improved. In an interesting finding, 45 percent of whites think relations have worsened while just 26 percent of blacks think so.
The survey of 1,000 adults was taken last month, before a Department of Justice report released this week found racial bias in the Ferguson, Mo., police department.
In remarks after the report was released, Obama said the type of racial bias in Ferguson is not isolated.
"I don't think that is typical of what happens across the country, but it's not an isolated incident," Obama told The Joe Madison Radio Show on Sirius XM radio's Urban View channel.
"I think that there are circumstances in which trust between communities and law enforcement have broken down, and individuals or entire departments may not have the training or the accountability to make sure that they're protecting and serving all people and not just some," he said.
He called civil rights "an unfinished project."
In a speech to a black college in South Carolina on Friday, Obama said, "We may never know exactly what happened" the day white police officer Darren Wilson shot black teenager Michael Brown. Attorney General Eric Holder found that witness stories greatly varied, but in clearing Wilson of any wrongdoing, the report said there was no truth to the account that Bornw had his hands up when shot.
"If there is uncertainty about what happened, then you can’t just charge him anyway just because what happened was tragic. That was the decision that was made," he said.
Obama on Saturday flew to Selma, Ala., to deliver a speech on the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," when police beat marching protesters.
Also on Saturday, an apparently unarmed black teenager was shot dead by a police officer at a Wisconsin home. Protesters surrounded the house, chanting slogans like, "Who can you trust? Not the police," in front of a row of officers.