About two-thirds support the recent Black Lives Matter protests over police brutality and discrimination in the US, and there’s agreement on a wide variety of proposals on how to reform the nation’s police departments, recent polls show.
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll out Thursday found 64% of Americans supported the recent protests against police violence, including 86% of Democrats, 67% of independents and 36% of Republicans. Support for the protests is seen across racial lines, with 84% of blacks, 64% of Hispanics and 61% of whites in support.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found 67% of registered voters supported the protests as a response to “the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.”
The killing of George Floyd last month sparked protests nationwide over police brutality and racism against black Americans. A Pew Research poll from last week found 67% of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to the Quinnipiac University poll, a clear majority – 55% – thinks the protests will lead to meaningful reform. That includes 76% of Democrats, 53% of independents and 34% of Republicans.
Widespread support exists for the protests and movement as a whole, and a majority support each proposal suggested in the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, with a few key partisan differences.
More than 9 in 10 (95%) support requiring the police to intervene and stop excessive force by other officers and 89% support requiring police to give verbal warning while shooting. Another 76% support requiring states to publicly release disciplinary records for law enforcement and 74% support allowing individuals to sue police officers if they were subjected to excessive force. Around two-thirds (68%) support banning officers from using chokeholds and strangleholds and 52% support banning no-knock warrants.
One of the deaths being protested by Black Lives Matter is that of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her home when police officers entered without knocking and shot her while she was asleep.
Majorities across party lines support every proposal, except banning no-knock warrants, with 34% of Republicans who support the proposal, 56% of independents and 65% of Democrats.
The Quinnipiac poll found a similar number in support for banning the use of chokeholds. A majority (54%) oppose cutting some funding from police departments in their community and moving it to social services compared to 41% who support shifting resources.
Voters are more favorable to police in their community than police overall in Quinnipiac’s poll, with 77% who approve of how the police in their communities are doing, compared to 49% who approve of how the police overall are doing their jobs. The share of those who say they approve is down sharply from April 2018 when 65% of voters approved of the way police were doing their jobs.
One in 10 Americans say they’ve attended a protest against police violence or in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in the past few months, according to the Kaiser poll. The protestors are most likely to be young adults and college educated. Around half (52%) of people between 18 and 29 years old report attending a protest in the past few months, with 53% of those with a college degree who say the same.
Both independents (46%) and Democrats (42%) report attending the protest in relatively high numbers, while 6% of Republicans say they have protested in support of Black Lives Matter.
Over half of Americans (56%) are concerned that recent protests may lead to an increase in coronavirus cases, according to Kaiser. Democrats are more likely to express concern over an increase in cases, 73% of Democrats are worried, compared to 56% of independents and 37% of Republicans.
The Kaiser Family Foundation poll was conducted June 8 through 14 among a random national sample of 1,296 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted June 11 through 15 among a random national sample of 1,332 registered voters reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.