Poll Finds Most Americans Support Protests Against Police Brutality

Protesters sit at an intersection in Louisville, Ky., during a Saturday protest over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(CN) — A majority of Americans say they support the ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd and agree that police violence against the public is a serious issue, according to a new poll. 

A Morning Consult poll conducted over a tumultuous weekend in the United States shows that a majority of Americans support the protests against police killings of black people sparked by the death of Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Fifty-four percent of Americans say they are supportive of the protests, while 24% say they are at least somewhat supportive. 

According to the poll, only 14% say they strongly oppose the nationwide protests and 8% say they are somewhat opposed to them.

Roughly a quarter of adults say they have no side to take on the issue, with 17% saying they do not approve or disapprove of the protests and 6% saying they either do not know or have no opinion on the subject.

The numbers tell a different story when broken down along the political divide. 

Democrats are highly supportive of the protests, with nearly 70% expressing some degree of support and less than 15% voicing any kind of opposition.

Republicans are more divided. According to the poll, 39% say they are either somewhat or very supportive of the Floyd protests, while nearly the same amount (38%) say they oppose the protests to some degree.  

Independents are also largely supportive of the protests, though not quite to the extent as Democrats. Just under half of independents say they are either somewhat or very supportive of the protests, while 21% say they either somewhat or strongly oppose them. Nearly a third say they neither support nor oppose the protests. 

Support also varies among racial groups. Eighty percent of black Americans say they are supportive of the protests to some extent, while just under half of white Americans say they are either strongly or somewhat supportive of the protests 

Regardless on how they feel about the protests, 79% of those polled say that they have seen some or all of the video that shows then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been fired and charged with third-degree murder, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

The poll shows that most Americans also believe that police violence against the public is a more serious issue than violence against the police. Across nearly all questioned demographics, at least 50% or more of each group believed that police violence against the public is the more serious problem.

Only Republicans expressed the opposite opinion, with 54% saying that violence against the police is the more serious issue.

Over half of Americans also believe, despite their personal feelings, that the protests are only going to increase in size moving forward. 

As protests continue and tensions mount over these critical issues, more people are reporting a higher degree of faith in former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to deal with them — at least when polled against President Donald Trump.

On the issue of racial inequality across the U.S., 47% say they most trust Biden to handle such a challenge. while 30% say they most trust Trump and 23% say they are not sure.  

While Biden polls well among several groups on this issue, one group that particularly favors him is African Americans. The poll shows that 66% of black adults trust Biden most on the issue of racial inequality, far exceeding the 10% that favors Trump.

Trump and Biden are tied on this issue among white adults without a college degree, with 38% support for each.

On the issue of police reform, Biden also polled above Trump in most respects. Forty-four percent of all voters say they most trust Biden to handle police reform while 32% say they most trust Trump.

The Morning Consult polled more than 2,000 adults in the United States.

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