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Gallup Poll Shows Americans Confident in PoliceAired July 14, 2000 - 1:08 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: The man whose violent arrest on the streets of Philadelphia was seen around the world remains under guard today at a Philadelphia hospital. Thirty-year-old Thomas Jones is charged with at least 20 crimes, among them attempted murder of a police officer, assault and resisting arrest. Jones's capture, coming after two car chases and a shootout, are the subject of numerous investigations, including a civil rights probe by the Justice Department.
In its own investigation, "The Philadelphia Inquirer" analyzed every frame of the videotape you're watching now, concluding Jones was punched and kicked 59 times in 28 seconds. Earlier, the paper says, Jones was shot at least four times. Jones is expected to recover.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A police department's reputation seems only as good as its latest bust or blunder. But do Americans by and large have confidence in their men and women in blue?
Frank Newport joins us now from the Gallup studios in Princeton, New Jersey, with just the facts -- Frank.
FRANK NEWPORT, GALLUP EDITOR IN CHIEF: Well, Natalie, in fact Americans are pretty confident in police departments if general. And that's stayed fairly constant throughout this decade, as we can show you. In fact, in our poll, which we just completed a couple of weeks ago but before the Philadelphia incident, obviously, we asked Americans about their confidence in a whole variety of institutions. Police came in third out of the entire list, pretty near the high.
It was military, and then the church, organized religion, but police -- there are 54 percent of Americans said they were confident, above such things as the Supreme Court and banks. So that's a relatively positive rating, relatively speaking, for police.
In fact, as I mentioned, when we go back to 1993, we see a slight uptick in the middle of the '90s, and then it's back down to our poll in late June of 54 percent. But not a lot of change that took place during those years of the decade of the 1990s.
Now there is a big difference -- this is important -- a big disparity between confidence in the police expressed to us in our polls by whites, 57 percent, and non-whites, 38 percent. Therein lies a lot of the problem, of course, because many of the victims of the kind of things we just saw are, of course, African-American or minority.
Also, we're finding in our polling young people less likely to be confident in police than old people. Just 43 percent of 18-29-year- olds say they're confident. As you can see, it's a stair-step pattern. Confidence goes up as Americans get older.
But all in all, Natalie and Andria, our view is, based on the data, police as an institution still have a fairly positive rating on the part of Americans as of just a couple of weeks ago.
Back to you in Atlanta.
ALLEN: All right, Frank Newport, the Gallup Agency. Thank you, Frank.
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