NEW YORK - A new poll finds the majority of Americans believe racial discrimination is a problem in the wake of two fatal police shootings of black people and the deadly ambush of five police officers in Dallas, Texas.

An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll conducted last week and published Tuesday found 52% of Americans believe racism against black people is an “extremely” or “very” serious problem. An additional 25% said the issue is “somewhat” of a problem.

The timing of the poll likely contributed to those results, Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said.

On consecutive days last week, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both black men, were killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, Lousianna, and Falcon Heights, Minnesota,  prompting outrage after video of the incidents went viral.

On Thursday night, five police officers were killed and seven more were injured by a gunman who told negotiators he wanted to kill white police officers in downtown Dallas at a protest against police brutality.

“Our country has always been fragile along the lines of race,” Cohen said. “Events such as those last week often expose that.”

The poll was conducted online July 4 through Sunday among a national sample of 7,869 adults who say they are registered to vote. Survey questions regarding last week’s shooting deaths were conducted Friday through Sunday.

Another new poll has even starker numbers. In a New York Times/CBS News survey conducted Friday until Tuesday, 69% of poll respondents said race relations are generally bad. And six in 10 Americans said race relations are growing worse, according to the poll, up from 38% a year ago. It was the most discord since the 1992 riots in Los Angeles during the Rodney King case, the Times noted.

The polls are the latest to highlight heightened racial tensions shortly after police-involved deaths in recent years.

A New York Times/CBS poll conducted last spring following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died while in police custody in Baltimore, found 61% of Americans thought race relations were generally bad, compared with 38% in a CBS poll just two months prior.

A Pew Research Center poll taken in August 2014, shortly after a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager, found 44% of people believed race relations were bad.  That was a significant jump from polls from just months prior, according to Pew.

Each of those incidents triggered local riots and demonstrations as well as nationwide protests. The Department of Justice launched investigations into the Ferguson Police Department and Baltimore Police Department following the deaths.

The differences among party and racial lines in these types of polls have been stark. In the latest NBC poll, 77% of Democrats and 51% of Independents said racism against black people is an “extremely” or “very” serious problem, compared with only 23% of Republicans.

In a similar Pew poll published late last month, 88% of black people said the U.S. needs to make changes for black people to have equal rights, compared with 53% of white people.