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Sweeping change in US views of police violence

— A dramatic shift has taken place in the nation’s opinions on policing and race, as a new poll finds that more Americans today than five years ago believe police brutality is a very serious problem that too often goes undisciplined and unequally targets black Americans.

The new findings from The Associated Press NORC Center for Public Affairs Research suggest the death of George Floyd and the weeks of nationwide and global protests that followed have changed perceptions in ways that previous incidents of police brutality did not.

About half of American adults now say police violence against the public is a “very” or “extremely” serious problem, up from about a third as recently as September last year. Only about 3 in 10 said the same in July 2015, just a few months after Freddie Gray, a black man, died in police custody in Baltimore.

“I think it has reached its boiling point and I say that it’s like a volcano that was waiting to erupt,” said Smith, a 61-year-old black woman. “And looking back on 400 years of oppression of African Americans and the atrocities that we had to face to try to even make it in this country, when you look at all those things, the rights that were not given to the black man, those things build up.

The poll finds about 6 in 10 Americans say racism is a “very” or “extremely” serious problem in this country. Nine in 10 black Americans, and about 6 in 10 white Americans, say that.

Majorities of Americans across racial groups say police use of deadly force is more common against a black person, including 92% of black Americans and 54% of white Americans. Five years ago, just 39% of white Americans said police were more likely to use deadly force against a black person.

Separate from use of deadly force, the poll also finds about 7 in 10 Americans say white people are treated more fairly in dealing with the police in general, while about a quarter say the race of a person does not make a difference. Nine in 10 black Americans and 7 in 10 white Americans say white people are treated more fairly.

“My eyes have been opened in the last month of how serious the problem really is,” said Jeffrey Boord Dill, a 62-year-old white man, who lives in Kentucky. “I think it was a problem before now, but not nearly on the level that I see today, and having people of color tell their stories and putting myself in their shoes from those stories, I can’t imagine how damn tired everybody is of walking out the door and wondering if they’re going to come home or not. That, in this country, is inexcusable.

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Finger hut reported from Washington. news video journalist Noreen Nasir in Chicago contributed to this report.

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The News NORC poll of 1,301 adults was conducted June 11-15 using a sample drawn from NORC probability based Ameri Speak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points

“I think it has reached its boiling point and I say that it’s like a volcano that was waiting to erupt,” said Smith, a 61-year-old black woman. “And looking back on 400 years of oppression of African Americans and the atrocities that we had to face to try to even make it in this country, when you look at all those things, the rights that were not given to the black man, those things build up.

The poll finds about 6 in 10 Americans say racism is a “very” or “extremely” serious problem in this country. Nine in 10 black Americans, and about 6 in 10 white Americans, say that.

Majorities of Americans across racial groups say police use of deadly force is more common against a black person, including 92% of black Americans and 54% of white Americans. Five years ago, just 39% of white Americans said police were more likely to use deadly force against a black person.

Separate from use of deadly force, the poll also finds about 7 in 10 Americans say white people are treated more fairly in dealing with the police in general, while about a quarter say the race of a person does not make a difference. Nine in 10 black Americans and 7 in 10 white Americans say white people are treated more fairly.

“My eyes have been opened in the last month of how serious the problem really is,” said Jeffrey Boord Dill, a 62-year-old white man, who lives in Kentucky. “I think it was a problem before now, but not nearly on the level that I see today, and having people of color tell their stories and putting myself in their shoes from those stories, I can’t imagine how damn tired everybody is of walking out the door and wondering if they’re going to come home or not. That, in this country, is inexcusable.

___

Finger hut reported from Washington. news video journalist Noreen Nasir in Chicago contributed to this report.

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The  NewsNORC poll of 1,301 adults was conducted June 11-15 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability based Ameri Speak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points

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22 Comments

  1. Reply

    Good

  2. Reply

    This is really good and interesting to know

  3. Reply

    Good

  4. Reply

    Good

  5. Reply

    Nice

  6. Profile photo ofSIRMUSTY

    Reply

    interestin

  7. Reply

    Nice one

  8. Reply

    There’s need to put the Police force in checks

  9. Reply

    Nice information

  10. Reply

    Thanks for the update

  11. Reply

    Good

  12. Reply

    Great

  13. Reply

    Good to know

  14. Reply

    Great

  15. Reply

    ni

  16. Reply

    Police brutality is becoming alarming

  17. Reply

    very good

  18. Reply

    Good article

  19. Reply

    Police violence is becoming the new virus every where

  20. Reply

    Good

  21. Reply

    Nice update

  22. Reply

    Nice one….. Good update

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