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New Poll Indicates Black People Want Police to Maintain Current Presence In Their Neighborhoods

A new Gallup poll indicates that the majority of Black Americans want police to spend the same or more time in their neighborhoods.

Some 61 percent of Black Americans said they wanted police to spend the same amount of time in their local areas when asked whether they wanted police to spend less, the same, or more time in their neighborhoods. This indicates that Black people are less likely than white Americans to prefer that police maintain the same presence. About 71 percent of whites want police presence to remain the same in their communities, compared against 67 percent of all U.S. adults.

Twenty percent of Black Americans wanted police to spend more time in their communities, while 19 percent wanted them to spend less. Overall, 81 percent of Black Americans said they wanted to see the same or increased police presence in their neighborhoods.

The survey was conducted after the killing of George Floyd on May 25, and was administered between June 23 and July 6.

Thousands March to the White House | George Floyd Protests (The New York Times/ YouTube Screenshot)

The study also revealed that Black people are likely to see police officers in their communities more often than their white counterparts. Thirty-two percent of Black people said they see police “often or very often” in their local areas, compared against 22 percent of white people.

Thirty-six percent of white Americans said they see police in their neighborhoods rarely or never, while 27 percent of Black Americans said the same.

The differences between how white and Black people believe encounters with the police will turn out are stark. Less than 20 percent of Black Americans were very confident that interactions with police would turn out well, compared to 56 percent of whites.

Twelve percent of Black Americans had no confidence that encounters with police would go well, while just 2 percent of white people felt this way. Black Americans who had more confidence that police interactions would be positive were less likely to want officers to spend less time in their neighborhoods.

A previous Gallup poll found that just 22 percent of Black people want to abolish the police while more than 90 percent are in favor of reform that would improve police-community relations.

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