Defund the police? Not for the vast majority of black Americans, who say the number of cops patrolling their neighborhood should remain the same or even be increased.
This is not the impression we’re getting from the media, who are cheering on Black Lives Matter in their efforts to castrate American police forces. Apparently, they’re doing it in the name of the radical-left faction of black Americans, not the overwhelming majority of black citizens.
Who’d have guessed it?
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Over 80 percent of black Americans want the police to spend as much or more time in their neighborhoods as they currently do, new polling from Gallup conducted last month finds.
Asked if they would prefer police spend more, less, or the same amount of time in their neighborhoods, 61 percent of black respondents told Gallup the same, while a further 20 percent said more. Just 19 percent said less. Black respondents were more likely to want more police presence than white, Asian, and all adults overall.
The overwhelming support for current levels of policing even holds among black respondents who say they see the police often or very often. Two in three of those say they would like to see the police the same amount or more; 84 percent of black respondents who see the police “sometimes” responded that way, along with 92 percent of those who see the police rarely or never.
Even more interesting is the Gallup finding that blacks who see police frequently in their neighborhoods are no more likely to oppose a continued or elevated police presence in their neighborhood.
The slightly elevated frequency with which Black Americans see police in their neighborhood has limited impact on their preferences for changing the local police presence. About a third of Black Americans who say they often see the police in their neighborhood think the police should spend less time there (34%); however, the majority of adults in this group think they should spend the same amount of time (56%) or more time (10%).
Black Americans’ desire for reduced police presence drops to 16% for those who “sometimes” see the police and to 8% for those who rarely or never see the police.
This doesn’t mean that there is any love lost between blacks and the police. Fewer than 20 percent of black respondents have any confidence that police will treat them with “courtesy and respect.”
Gallup sums up the findings.
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. However, that exposure comes with more trepidation for Black than White or Hispanic Americans about what they might experience in a police encounter. And those harboring the least confidence that they will be treated well, or who have had negative encounters in the past, are much more likely to want the police presence curtailed.
Concentrating on how the police interact with the communities they serve is far more important than the number of cops or social workers or “conflict resolution specialists” on the streets. Blacks want the same thing that whites do: safe streets and simple respect from police. Cops want respect too, and a recognition of how tough their jobs truly are.
That’s very hard when people are disrespecting cops. The situation will not improve overnight and both sides shouldn’t expect it will. But progress will come if politicians stop kowtowing to a violent mob and refuse to defund the police.