Police killing videos shock the world. So why do white Americans still trust cops?

poA stark new video of a white police officer shooting an unarmed black man in the back in South Carolina has reignited a sense of public outrage over US police killings that has been smoldering since last summer – but there is little to suggest that this latest dispatch of the YouTube era will shake confidence in police, especially among affluent white Americans.

Ubiquitous video technology – from smartphones and dashboards to surveillance and body cameras – has produced an increasing trail of grainy footage of citizen deaths turned cultural flashpoints, from Rodney King to Oscar Grant, Eric Garner to 12-year-old Tamir Rice and many more. Yet public trust in the police has remained relatively steady – and consistently divided along racial lines.