A majority of African Americans are satisfied with the performance of local police departments serving the areas in which they live, according to a new poll.
A total of 72% of black citizens indicated they are somewhat satisfied with their local police, with the same number of white citizens saying the same, according to a Monmouth University poll released this week.
“White and black Americans have consistently reported different personal experiences with the police. But it has only been within the last few years that more whites seem to link this to deeper racial inequities in the country,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Only 17% of the public says that the actions of protesters, including the burning of a police precinct, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, are fully justified, but another 37% say they are partially justified.
At the same time, a majority polled said the anger about the deaths of black people at the hands of police officers that led to recent protests is fully justified.
More specifically, 57% say police in the midst of a “difficult or dangerous situations” are more prone to use excessive force if the culprit is African American. That is compared to 33% who feel the police are” just as likely” to use excessive force against black and white culprits in the same type of situation.
Police treatment of minorities has taken center stage in America following the killing of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody after a white officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.
Multiple videos at the scene showed Floyd never resisted arrest and repeatedly told the officer, Derek Chauvin, he could not breathe and begged him to get off. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, and three other officers who assisted in Floyd’s arrest have been charged with aiding and abetting the act.
Floyd’s death has galvanized the African American community and sparked massive demonstrations across the country demanding meaningful criminal justice reform and acknowledgment there is systemic racism within law enforcement.
“It seems we have reached a turning point in public opinion where white Americans are realizing that black Americans face risks when dealing with police that they do not,” Murray said. “They may not agree with the violence of recent protests, but many whites say they understand where that anger is coming from.”
Author: Dominick Mastrangelo
Source: Washington Examiner: Majority of African Americans mostly satisfied with local police department: Poll