Americans’ confidence in their police departments has barely moved since 2014, even amid the national uproar over the police-caused death of a black man in Minneapolis, according to a June 3 poll by National Public Radio (NPR) and the PBS NewsHouse.
The poll showed that 64 percent of 1,062 adults said they had a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence that police in their community would “treat blacks and whites equally.”
In December 2014, 71 percent of respondents said they had a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence in their police.
The seven-point drop from 2014 to 2020 was seen in a six-point drop in the “great deal of confidence” column, and a six-point rise in the “just some” confidence column.
The share of respondents who said they have “very little” trust moved slightly from 16 percent in 2014 to just 18 percent in 2020.
The poll was conducted by the Marist Poll company.
But the poll showed sharply different partisan views of the public events denouncing the police killing.
Fifty-nine percent of Republicans — and just ten percent of Democrats — described the events as “riots.”
Eight-five percent of Democrats — and 31 percent of Republicans — described the events as “protests.”
President Donald Trump was given a thumbs down by most respondents.
The adults were asked: “Thinking about what you have heard or seen about the demonstrations around the country after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis at the hands of police, please respond to each of the following questions: Do you think President Trump’s response has mostly increased tensions, mostly decreased tensions, [or] unsure.”
Sixty-seven percent said he “mostly increased tensions,” while only 18 percent said he “mostly decreased tensions.”