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ABC News/Washington Post Los Angeles Beating Poll, April 1992 (ICPSR 9941)

Principal Investigator(s): ABC News; The Washington Post


This special topic poll dealt with race relations and the verdict handed down in the Rodney King beating case in Los Angeles. Respondents were asked to describe the state of race relations in the United States, to indicate whether a great deal of prejudice against Blacks was present among whites and vice versa, and to agree or disagree with statements such as "Police in most cities treat Blacks as fairly as they treat whites," and "The only time the federal government really pays attention to Black problems is when Blacks resort to violent demonstrations or riots." Respondents were also asked if Blacks and other minorities received the same treatment as whites in the criminal justice system. Concerning the jury verdict in the Rodney King beating case, respondents were asked if they had heard or read about the verdict, whether they had seen the videotape of the police officers hitting and kicking King, and whether the police officers were guilty of a crime. Those surveyed were also asked if the not-guilty verdict would do major damage to race relations in the United States, if they agreed that the verdict showed that Blacks could not get justice in this country, and if they agreed that the rioting after the King verdict would make whites less sympathetic to the problems of Blacks. In addition, respondents were asked if the United States Justice Department should charge the police officers with the crime of violating Rodney King's civil rights. Background information on respondents includes age, Hispanic origin, race, and sex.

Series: ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series

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Study Description


ABC News/Washington Post. ABC NEWS/WASHINGTON POST LOS ANGELES BEATING POLL, APRIL 1992. Radnor, PA: Chilton Research Services [producer], 1992. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1993., 2008-07-31. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09941.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09941.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attitudes, civil rights, criminal justice system, juries, King, Rodney, minorities, police brutality, police departments, race relations, racial tensions, riots, verdicts

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1992-04-30

Date of Collection:   

  • 1992-04-30

Universe:    Adults aged 18 and over living in households with telephones in the 48 contiguous United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) A weight variable with one implied decimal place has been included and must be used with any analysis.


Sample:    Households were selected by random digit dialing. Within households, the respondent selected was the adult living in the household who last had a birthday and who was home at the time of the interview. The survey is national with a Black oversample.

Data Source:

telephone interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1993-05-13

Version History:

  • 2008-07-31 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added to this data collection.

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