Wed Jan 11, 2017 05:27PM
A protester stares at riot police during a demonstration against police brutality in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 21, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
A protester stares at riot police during a demonstration against police brutality in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 21, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Interactions between US police and African Americans have become "more tense" after the recent wave of protests over the death of unarmed black men at the hands of white officers, a new study shows.

According to the Pew Research Center survey released on Wednesday, around 75 percent of American cops said they felt a strong anti-police feeling among the public following the protests.

About two-thirds of the officers thought the public response to the fatal shooting of black men was motivated “a great deal” by a general bias towards law enforcement officers.

Two-thirds of the officers thought the excessive use of force against black suspects was not a broad issue and such incidents were isolated.

This is while 60 percent of the public do not agree with the police officers and think the killings are indeed the symptoms of a systemic problem, according to a separate study by Pew.

Interestingly, more than 90 percent of the police officers surveyed by Pew said they had more concerns about their safety due to the protests.

Over the past few months, a growing number of ambush-style attacks have been reported against US police officers.

Last year, a total of 135 US police officers were killed in the line of duty, 21 of them in ambush attacks.

The number of those killed or injured by US police appears significantly higher as “on an average day, three people die and 150 people are treated at a hospital because they are injured by police,” according to Ted Miller with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

Anti-police sentiments peaked towards the end of 2016, following the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two African Americans who lost their lives at the hands of US police in separate incidents in the US states of Louisiana and Minnesota respectively.

Massive protests were subsequently held across the country by Black Lives Matter activists, outraged after videos showing their deaths were released.