Just 16% of Americans support cutting funding for police departments, according to a YouGov poll.
The poll shows a contrast between what Americans want and what is being pushed by activists and politicians in response to the death of George Floyd. Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 after an officer knelt on his neck for over 8 minutes.
YouGov’s poll revealed a divide, however, between white and black Americans on the question of defunding police. Seventy-five percent of white respondents oppose cutting funding compared to 36% of black respondents. 12% of white respondents supported cutting funding versus 33% of black respondents.
Meanwhile, a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council voted to dismantle the city’s police department over the weekend. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed at a protest Saturday after not committing to abolish the city’s police force.
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota told protesters, “we need to completely dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.”
Fellow Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said in a primary debate Friday that she was actively advocating for a “reduction” of the New York Police Department’s budget, which she said was taking away from potential investment in housing.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wouldn’t answer questions Sunday about removing a “defund the police” inscription which activists painted on a D.C. street. Bowser’s office had commissioned local artists and activists to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the street Friday.
Celebrities including Lizzo, Chris Martin, and John Legend have signed an online petition demanding divestment from police departments.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) June 3, 2020
Despite the growing fervor behind defunding police departments around the country, several leaders have come out against the idea echoing the views of most Americans. “I don’t believe that you should disband police departments,” Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. Bass chairs the Congressional Black Caucus.
The YouGov poll was conducted with Yahoo News on May 29-30. The poll surveyed 1,060 U.S. adults.
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