Public polling offers us evidence-based insight into the beliefs of the American people. But it cannot offer us explanations. For example, a shocking number of black people seem to have little faith in the police. But why?

The latest Wall Street Journal poll figures show a large racial disparity in trust for our nation's law enforcement officers.

-80% of whites "express some level of confidence that police officers in their community do a good job enforcing the law," but only 58% of black people do.

-69% of whites "expressed confidence that law enforcement officials gave equal treatment to people of both races," but only 28% of blacks agreed.

-70% of whites "express some level of trust that police do not use excessive force," but only 27% of black people do.

The stark difference in views is clear. But what is causing it? Until our methods of statistical analysis further evolve, that will, unfortunately, remain a mystery.

[Photo: AP]