Survey Indicates Racial, Political Divide in Reactions to Tension in Ferguson

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-08_17f3a9adae.jpgiStockphoto/Thinkstock (FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The public perception of the tension between police and residents in Ferguson, Mo. shows a noticeable racial divide, according to the latest survey from the Pew Research Center. The latest survey was conducted between August 14 and 17 and included 1,000 adults.

Pew says that results showed that generally, adults are divided: 44 percent believe that the shooting of Michael Brown, "raises important issues about race that require discussion," while 40 percent think that the issue of race, "is getting more attention than it deserves."

However, those opinions show a clear racial divide as well. Among African-Americans, 80 percent say that the shooting raises important racial issues, compared to 18 percent who think otherwise. Among white Americans, only 47 percent believe the racial issues are important, compared to 37 percent who believe the topic of race is receiving more attention that it deserves.

Additionally, Pew's survey results indicate that while 65 percent of African-Americans believe the police have "gone too far" in the aftermath of the shooting, whites are far more split. Among whites, 33 percent believe police have gone too far, while 32 percent say the police response "has been about right."

The survey also indicated something of a political divide in terms of reaction to the ongoing tension. Among those respondents who self-identified as Republicans, just 22 percent believe that the shooting raises important racial issues, with 61 percent saying that the topic is getting too much attention. Among self-identified Democrats, 68 percent believe that there are important racial issues raised by the death of Michael Brown and just 21 percent believe that aspect of the nationwide conversation is getting too much attention.

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