Poll: Vast majority of people oppose defunding and abolishing police (despite what the media suggests)

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WASHINGTON DC – Two recent polls reflect that the vast majority of U.S. citizens do not want to defund police departments or abolish police.

The Economist/YouGov Poll, taken June 14-16, asked 1,500 adult U.S. citizens whether they favored or opposed defunding police departments and abolishing police.

The majority, 53%, indicated that they oppose defunding police, while 24% said they support the proposal and another 24% were not sure.

When asked about abolishing police, the percentage was even higher with 73% opposing, 11% in favor and 16% not sure.

A majority of Democrats, 63%, oppose abolishing the police, and 69% of independents and 90% of Republicans also said they opposed.

The poll was sponsored by The Economist, and the margin of error is +/- 3.2 percent. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in Internet panel using sample matching with a random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education and region) selected from a 2016 American Community Study. Of the 1,500 participants, 1,160 were registered voters.

The YouGov poll coincides with one recently done by ABC News/Ipsos. In this poll, the majority, 66%, opposed defunding police. Of the 34% of respondents who supported it, there were significant differences based on age, race/ethnicity and partisanship.

The Ipsos poll was conducted June 10 and 11 and based on a nationally representative probability sample of 686 general population adults age 18 or older. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level for results based on the entire sample of adults, according to Ipsos.

Black Lives Matter activists across the nation have demanded that local governments defund and abolish the police and are receiving a lot of media coverage.

In Washington, Seattle police cannot safely enter the downtown Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone, where protesters have called for the police department to be abolished. After two recent shootings, Mayor Jenny Durkan said that the city is working to wind down the CHOP zone, according to a USA Today report.

Democrats in Minneapolis, Minnesota announced that they back proposals to disband the police department, according to Breitbart.

In a June 19 press release, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he would be cutting the budget of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Garcetti said:

“With the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and more igniting demonstrations for racial justice throughout Los Angeles and across the country, Mayor Garcetti is determined to turn this moment of righteous outrage into a movement for real reform.

“That effort begins with today’s urgent steps to inject equity into City government and policies, alongside recent measures to update police tactics and invest $250 million in public funds toward social services, youth development, health, housing, and healing for Black Angelenos and communities of color, including cuts to the LAPD budget.”

In an interview, singer John Legend chimed in about current events:

“When you hear people talking about defunding the police and decarceration, so many of them are saying, ‘There’s got to be a better way to deal with these issues.’ If you treat people with mental health and drug addiction issues like you truly care about their well-being and value their lives, you would know that jail is not the solution. What my mom needed back then wasn’t to get locked up. She needed help.

“If we spend the money on the front end, so that folks have a chance to succeed, then we don’t have to spend it on the back end, paying a bunch of cops and building a bunch of prisons and all these other things that are really expensive and destructive for our society.”

Of the 55 demands made by Black Lives Matter — Los Angeles, four pertain to public safety.

They are as follows:

“16.  Employ properly-equipped, non-violent, community care workers as neighborhood resources, instead of expanding patrols by funding police and law enforcement.

“17.  Funding for neighborhood-based community care plans in Black communities throughout the County, especially South Central Los Angeles, Watts, Skid Row, Compton, and Inglewood.

“18.  Moratorium on all non-violent arrests.

“19.  Dismissal of all non-violent criminal warrants and citations.”

Former police officer Tom Homan, speaking at a pro-police “We Back Blue” event in D.C. this month, challenged progressive politicians to “lead by example” and defund their security detail first:

“Let’s take the law enforcement officers that provide them 24/7 law enforcement security. If they want to take protection away from the American people in their communities, lead by example.”

Here’s more on the insanity of defunding the police.

 
President Trump has been known occasionally to come up with numbers off the top of his head, and sometimes he’s a little bit off. However, that is not the case where it concerns crime in Baltimore.

On Tuesday, the president was giving a speech on police reform, and mentioned that last year, over two-thirds of the murders in Baltimore went unsolved. That was confirmed later on Tuesday by the Baltimore Police Department.

WJZ-13 in Baltimore reported the president’s remarks.

 

“In many cases local law enforcement is underfunded, understaffed, and under supported,” the president said. “Forty seven percent of all murders in Chicago and 68% of all murders in Baltimore went without arrests last year.”

On Tuesday, the president signed an executive order in order to address police reforms after two high-profile police killings of black men over the past three weeks. The president’s order involves three components: credentialing and certifying police departments, boosting information-sharing to better track officers with excessive use-of-force complaints and creating services for addressing mental health, drug addition and homelessness.

While the executive order does not make federal funding contingent on implementation of those reforms, it does prioritize federal grants for department which meet those guidelines, according to CBS News.

In confirming the president’s statement on Tuesday, the Baltimore PD said they had a 31% homicide clearance rate in which cases were closed in 2019.

A spokesperson for the department said that since Commissioner Michael Harrison’s arrival, the department has reallocated assets and dedicated more funds to the homicide unit in the city, adding 14 new investigators to the unit.

The spokesperson said the department is currently focusing on staffing and reduction in caseloads for homicides in the city.

The clearance rate this far in 2020 is much improved, standing at 45%.

“The Baltimore Police Department recognizes the need to improve our Homicide clearance rate and continues to make the necessary changes to be more effective and efficient. There have been several important improvements made which include not only increasing staffing levels and developing training but implementing necessary accountability measures to improve investigations.

“Improving the clearance rate involves collaboration with the community and other local, state, and federal partners which the Baltimore police Department is committed to continue doing and expanding on,” the department said in a statement to WJZ.

“Overall, BPD recognizes the need for continuous improvement and is up for the challenge of changing this narrative. Our department embraces reforms because the residents of our city deserve a world-class police force that inspires trust, ensures safety, and protects the constitutional rights of the people we serve. Rebuilding trust is critical to a safer Baltimore.”

However, Baltimore may hit a bump in the road with getting crime under control. Jumping on the “defund the police” bandwagon, the City Council recently voted to remove $22 million from the police budget and direct it to public services.

“This round of cuts that came with these hearings have demonstrated the will of the people,” said Harrison. “We are really kind of a basic functioning police department. There are impacts. Some of them could be negative.”

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City Council President Brandon Scott said of the cuts, “We are going to have to start responsibly reducing the city’s dependence on the police department’s budget so that we can reimagine public safety and investment.”

 

Mayor Jack Young, who is not in favor of cutting the police budget, has until July 1 to decide.

Harrison said:

“I am certainly in favor of building those programs and funding those programs. I have only advocated that we be thoughtful, and we be careful about creating a gap in service.”

The cuts would mostly come from police overtime, although the marine and mounted units would also be cut. The chief could redirect money in order to keep them.

While the clearance rate for murders in Baltimore is up, so too is the murder rate. The city is currently ahead of the rate for last year, which was the second highest on record.

Meanwhile, President Trump, in signing the executive order on Tuesday, met with families of families of men who were killed in encounters with police officers. He met with the families of Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, and Cameron Lamb, as well as with the mother of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood earlier this year.

Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother noted that President Trump was “very compassionate” when he met with the families affected. According to The Hill, she told Fox News that the president was “very receiving” and listened intently to all the participants during the closed-door meeting at the White House, where cameras were not permitted. That should take the left-leaning media’s “photo-op” narrative out of play.

“I was very, very emotional throughout the whole conference,” Cooper-Jones said. “He was very compassionate. He showed major concern for all families. Not just one family, but for all families.”

When asked by reporters if she was satisfied with Trump’s executive order, she said she didn’t think the order “was enough” but said it was definitely “a start.”

The families were accompanied to the meeting by Lee Merritt, an attorney, who then left to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on police use of force.

Merritt told ABC News that “tears were flowing” during the “heavy meeting” at the White House.

While Merritt acknowledged that the president’s concern was genuine, he expressed doubt that it would lead to meaningful reform.

“I believe it was genuine concern for each of the families represented,” Merritt said. He gave no indication that the families in that room reflected a problem in America, that policy could actually resolve it—and it can—so that was my concern.”

Merritt did acknowledge that the group “had secured a commitment to independent federal investigations of each of the families that accompanied me to the White House.”

“This commitment is not currency. This commitment does not help save lives in the future but potentially will help these families get justice,”Merritt said in a tweet.

In his remarks at the signing, President Trump said:

“Many of these families lost their loved ones in deadly interactions with police. To all of the hurting families, I want you to know that all Americans mourn by your side. Your loved ones will not have died in vain. We are one nation. We grieve together and we heal together.”

 

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