In the Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart says "There is no one way to be Black in America, but there is one way we live while Black in America. No matter our gender, age or socioeconomic status, we are viewed as threats. . . Every Black person you know goes through some form of mental calculus before they start their day. . . . My mother taught me the first few pieces of this calculus when I was a kid. Don’t run in public. Don’t run in public with anything in your hands. Don’t talk back to the police."
I've seen many similar statements, but this one inspired me to look for data on black and white views of the police--not general approval or disapproval, but one's own interactions or potential interactions with them. I didn't find anything recent (although some related questions are mentioned in this article), but there were two from the 1990s (1992 and 1997) that asked "In everyday interactions with the police, do you ever feel that you are at risk of being treated unfairly?" In the 1997 survey 38% said that they did feel that way. Breaking it down by race and ethnicity:
Yes No DK
White 34% 62% 4%
Black 60% 35% 5%
Hispanic 49% 44% 7%
Realistically, you can't expect to see 100% of a group offering the same answer to a survey question, but 60% is a long way from "every Black person"--a substantial number did not "ever feel that you are at risk of being treated unfairly" (and a substantial number of whites did).
Breaking it down by groups within race (black and all others), the percent who felt at risk:
Black men 67%
Black women 55%
Non-black men 42%
Non-black women 29%
Among both blacks and non-blacks, men were more likely to expect unfair treatment.
Black, metro areas 61%
Black, non-metro 57%
Non-black, metro 38%
Non-black, non-metro 27%
Among non-blacks, people in non-metro areas (ie not part of an MSA) are less likely to expect unfair treatment; among blacks, it's not clear if there's a difference.
Age: among non-blacks, older people are less likely to expect unfair treatment (going from 44% among those under 30 to 20% among those over 65); among blacks, there's no evidence that age makes a difference. I wonder if it's a matter of generation--that black people who grew up in earlier periods had more memories of mistreatment.
Education and income: neither one had any clear influence among either blacks or non-blacks. Although it seems likely that people with less education and income get worse treatment, there may be an offsetting difference in standards of what people regard as unfair.
[Data from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research]