The public’s support for protests against police brutality has plummeted after months of riots that have caused billions of dollars in damage to major American cities.
A poll released Wednesday by The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that public support for protests that broke out after the death of George Floyd in May has declined drastically to 39% from 54% in June. The poll shows that 44% of Americans disapprove of the protests.
The poll was conducted on Sept. 11-14. Surveys were given to 1,108 adults online and over the phone. The margin of error for the poll results is +/- 4.0 percentage points.
Among black Americans, support for the protests has dropped 18 points from 81% in July to 63% on Wednesday. A similar drop has taken place among white Americans whose support for the protests has fallen from 53% to 34%.
The poll found that the percentage of adults who consider the protests to be mostly peaceful or a mix of peaceful and violent has fallen several points while the number of adults who consider the protests to be mostly violent has jumped eight points from June (22%) to September (30%). The percentage of Americans that believe police violence against the public is not a significant issue has jumped eight points from June (21%) to September (29%).
Protests over the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman, in March erupted in Louisville on Wednesday after charges were announced in the case. Police officers killed Taylor during a raid on her apartment after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at the officers who had just broken down the front door, hitting one in the leg. The officers returned fire and Taylor was hit eight times.
Grand jury charges were announced against one former officer involved in the raid on Taylor’s apartment. Former police officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly firing off 10 shots “wildly” into the apartment after shooting broke out. Two other officers who fired shots were not charged over the incident, and no charges were brought relating to Taylor’s death.
As The Daily Wire reports:
Hankison was fired from the department three months after Taylor’s death. Then-Police Chief Robert Schroeder wrote that Hankison violated standard operating procedure when his “actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds” into Taylor’s apartment.
“The result of your action seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible,” he wrote. “I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Your conduct demands your termination.”
Some have suggested that the lack of charges over Taylor’s death is a cover-up led by Kentucky’s black attorney general Daniel Cameron to protect police officers. Retired Los Angeles police sergeant Cheryl Dorsey, who is also black, attacked Cameron in an appearance on MSNBC on Wednesday, saying he is “skin-folk” but not “kinfolk.”
Cameron said in a press conference on Wednesday that though Taylor’s death is a tragedy, the facts of the case do not support criminal charges against the officers who killed her. The officers did not execute a no-knock warrant and police and witness testimony shows that the officers announced themselves before breaking down the door to the apartment, Cameron said.
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