Gallup: More Blacks Think New Civil Rights Laws Needed After Zimmerman Verdict

A new Gallup poll out today found a post-Zimmerman spike in the percentage of African-Americans who believe new civil rights laws are needed to reduce discrimination against blacks.

Fifty-three percent said in a June-July poll that more laws are needed, but this rose to 61 percent in the survey released today. The number had been on a steady downward trend since polling began in 1993.

More blacks also believe that the government should play a "major" role in "trying to improve the social and economic position of blacks and other minority groups in the country." That number was 63 percent today, up from 54 percent in June-July.

Few said that civil rights have worsened during their lifetime, with 55 percent in today's poll saying the situation has "somewhat improved" and 25 percent saying civil rights have "greatly improved." Older Americans were more likely to see greater improvement.

Forty-six percent of Hispanics polled in June-July said new civil rights laws are needed, while just 17 percent of whites agreed. Sixty percent of Hispanics rolled said government needs to take a "major role" in helping out minorities.