A Gallup poll released on Wednesday shows that 81 percent of black Americans want the police presence to remain the same or increase in their neighborhood or area. According to the poll, “67 percent of all U.S. adults” also prefer the “status quo” when it comes to local police presence.
“Most Black Americans want the police to spend at least as much time in their area as they currently do, indicating that they value the need for the service that police provide,” the poll concludes.
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Eighty-three percent of Hispanic Americans and 88 percent of white Americans share similar attitudes. In contrast, only 72 percent of Asian Americans say they would prefer increased or the same amount of police presence in their neighborhoods, according to The Federalist.
After an examination of factors such as volume and frequency of police interactions, however, researchers determined that neither were the most significant factor in dictating black Americans’ attitudes towards police presence in their area.
While “exposure comes with more trepidation for Black than White or Hispanic Americans about what they might experience in a police encounter,” poll analysis suggests that “simply having an interaction with the police in the past year has no bearing on black Americans’ preference for local police presence in their area.”
In cases where black Americans see police in their neighborhood, there is a “limited impact” on determining increased, the same, or decreased police appearances in their area.
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The most significant factor in determining attitudes towards police presence, according to Gallup is the “quality of the interaction.”
While “fewer than one in five Black Americans feel very confident that the police in their area would treat them with courtesy and respect,” only 13 percent of black Americans who were “treated respectfully” favor decreased police presence in their area while 87 percent want the same or increased number and frequency of police.
Previously, a Gallup poll released in late July showed that only 22 percent of black Americans approved of abolishing police departments, while 90 percent showed great interest in “specific reforms aimed at improving police relations with the communities they serve and preventing or punishing abusive police behavior.”