While Continuing To Support Police
Most Americans continue to give high praise to their local police and approve of their tactics. But following George Floyd’s death, they’re more critical of police-involved killings.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 67% of American Adults rate the performance of the police in the area where they live as good or excellent. Just nine percent (9%) give them poor marks. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Positive ratings for local police are down from a high of 74% a year ago but are consistent with prior surveying for the past several years.
Little changed from 2018 is the 20% who think the tactics used by police officers where they live are too harsh. Only 12% say they’re not harsh enough, while 55% rate the tactics as about right. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.
But 27% of Americans now believe that, generally speaking, most deaths that involve the police are the fault of the police officer. That’s up from 13% last year and a new high. Thirty-seven percent (37%) think most of those deaths are the fault of the suspect, a finding that previously has run in the 50s for several years. A notable 36% are now undecided.
Sixteen percent (16%) say most police officers are racist, up from 10% a year ago. Sixty-five percent (65%) disagree. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure.
The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on June 1-2, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Voters are more critical of the police response to the latest outburst of black protest nationwide but also tend to agree with President Trump that the so-called “antifa” movement thought to be behind much of the violence should be labeled as terrorists.
Blacks and other minority Americans remain more critical of the police and their tactics than whites are. Just 11% of whites think most cops are racist, compared to 26% of blacks and 23% of other minority adults.
One-in-five Democrats (21%) believe most police officers are racist. Only 12% of Republicans and 14% of those not affiliated with either major political party agree. Republicans have a much higher opinion of their local police than the others do.
The older the American, the more favorably they view the police. Those under 40 are more likely to blame the police officer when a suspect is killed.
Forty-one percent (41%) of voters who think the police officer is to blame in most deaths that involve the police view most officers as racist. Only five percent (5%) of those who think the
Sixty-six percent (66%) of all Americans agree that being a police officer is one of the most important jobs in our country today.
In a survey two years ago, voters said police do a good job dealing with violent protesters but think the media is more likely to side with the protesters than with the police.
Source: Rrasmussen Reports : Americans Still Praise Police But Are More Skeptical of Officer-Involved Deaths