Whites in the United States approve of police officers hitting people in far greater numbers than Blacks and Hispanics do, a striking difference at a time when the U.S. is struggling to deal with police use of deadly force against minorities, according to a major American trend survey.

Seven of 10 Whites polled, or 70 percent, said they can imagine a situation in which they would approve of a police officer striking an adult male citizen, according to the 2014 General Social Survey, a long-running measurement of trends in American opinions. When asked the same question, just 42 percent of Blacks and 38 percent of Hispanics said they could.