Human RightsNorth America

Confidence in US police lowest in 22 years: Poll


Confidence in police in the United States has plummeted to the lowest level in 22 years, with only half of Americans expressing confidence in the institution, according to a new poll.

Just 52 percent of Americans express “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in police, a Gallup poll released on Friday found.

Overall, 16 percent of Americans say they have “very little” confidence in the police and 2 percent have “none”, while 30 percent have “some” confidence, 25 percent have “a great deal” and 27 percent “quite a lot” of confidence.

The historically low confidence level in police matched the level seen in 1993, when Gallup first began measuring it.

That poll was conducted as four white Los Angeles police officers were being tried in federal court for violating the civil rights of a black taxi driver in 1991 by using excessive force against him. The four had earlier been acquitted of criminal charges in state court, which provoked riots in 1992. Two of the four officers were later found guilty of violating Rodney King’s civil rights.

The latest poll comes amid heightened scrutiny over the treatment of minorities by police in the United States following the recent killings of several unarmed black men while being arrested by white police officers.

These incidents of police brutality likely contributed to the declining confidence in police to historical low levels, Gallup said.

A comprehensive database published by The Guardian newspaper shows that police in the United States kill more Americans in days than police in other countries do in years.

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