According to the poll, the respondents, which included White, Black, Hispanic and Asian American adults, were asked if they prefer that the police spend more time, the same amount of time or less time as they currently spend patrolling their neighborhoods.
The survey showed that 61 percent of Black Americans want the police to spend the same amount of time in their area, 20 percent want the police to spend more time patrolling their neighborhoods, while only 19 percent want the police to spend less time in their area.
A majority of all three other racial groups wanted the police to spend the same amount of time patrolling their neighborhoods. Asian Americans are the most likely to want less police presence, with 28 percent saying this; White Americans are the most likely to want the same level of police presence, with 71 percent saying this; and Hispanic Americans are the most likely to want more police patrols in their area, with 24 percent saying this.
When taken together, only 14 percent of all U.S. adults would prefer fewer police patrols in their area, while the percentage of people who want the police presence to either stay the same or increase is at 67 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
Most Americans want police presence to remain in their neighborhoods
The Gallup poll, which was conducted online from June 23 to July 6 by the newly established Gallup Center on Black Voices, asked the respondents several other questions regarding the police presence in their neighborhoods.
One of the other questions attempted to estimate how often adults in the U.S. encounter police officers in their neighborhoods. In this question, they found that Black Americans were only slightly more likely to encounter local police, with 32 percent saying that they saw the police often or very often, 41 percent saying they saw the police only sometimes and 27 percent saying they rarely or never saw cops.
While this statistic may look like it reinforces the beliefs held by the Black Lives Matter movement, it does not impact the preferences of Black Americans with regards to changing how little or how much they see their local police units.
Only 34 percent of the Black Americans who said they saw the police often in their neighborhoods believe that the police should spend less time in their area. Fifty-six percent of believe that the police should spend the same amount of time in their area, while the remaining 10 percent want the time spent by the police in their neighborhoods to increase.
While a majority of Black Americans do want to keep police presences the same, these same respondents are less certain that their interactions with local law enforcement will be positive. When asked, “If you had an interaction with police in your area, how confident are you that they would treat you with courtesy and respect?” only 18 percent of African Americans responded by saying that they were very confident. Forty-three percent said they were somewhat confident, 27 percent said they were not too confident, and 12 percent said they were not confident at all.
According to Gallup, this could come from either personally negative experiences with police officers or from knowing of somebody who has had a negative encounter with law enforcement.
Bottom line: Some improvements necessary for quality of interactions with police
While it’s clear from the results of the survey that a majority of Black Americans would either like to maintain or increase the time police officers spend in their area, some work can be done to make sure African Americans have more positive interactions with police officers. Gallup itself asserted that a majority of Black Americans “value the need for the service that police provide.”
These results reinforce data previously gathered by Gallup that showed that very few Black Americans actually want to abolish their police departments. In this previous survey, only 22 percent of African Americans polled were in favor of police abolition. However, a large majority also believe that police reform is necessary, with 88 percent stating that they believe major changes are needed, and another 10 percent believing only minor changes are needed.
Reform ideas that have a broad base of support among Black Americans include requiring police officers to have good relations with the communities they serve (83 percent in favor); changing management practices so that individual cases of officer abuses can be effectively punished (91 percent); making sure officers with multiple incidents of abuse are no longer allowed to serve (92 percent), and promoting community-based alternatives that can work alongside police officer such as family services and violence intervention programs (72 percent).
Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement are trying to get people to believe that they have a broad base of support for their desires to defund and abolish police departments across the country. Learn more about why they are wrong at PoliceViolence.news