Less than 20 percent of Americans support ‘defund the police,’ poll finds

The poll questioned 1,165 Americans between March 1st and 2nd and discovered 67% of white citizens are against the strategy, along with 84% of Republicans

Despite calls for police reform, many Americans are not in favor of defunding the police.

A new study published on Sunday by Ipsos and USA Today disclosed that most Americans are not in favor of defunding the police. While many activists call for police reform, the strategy that suggests redistributing funds allocated for police departments has been met with major criticism.

The poll questioned 1,165 Americans between March 1st and 2nd and discovered 67% of white Americans are against the strategy, along with 84 % of Republicans

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The term began to gain momentum in 2020 after the death of George Floyd, who died due to police brutality. Activists like Tamika Mallory have been instrumental in leading the charge for police reform and said some assume the term calls for police abolishment, even though that is inaccurate.

“Number one–it’s not what I think defund means, I know what it means, because there’s a big difference between abolishment and defunding,” said Mallory to The Jasmine Brand in December.  

The study adds that a whopping 67% of people oppose abolishing the police, but Mallory is not one of them. She goes on to explain she is in favor of abolishing the police, but the idea does not support a lawless society.

“Abolish police would be to get rid of police forever, right?  And, I am an abolitionist, and there are many who are, who believe that one day we could get to a place where we have a different system for addressing, you know, rape, and murder and things that require people who might not be able to function in society with the rest of us…to put them somewhere or deal with them in some way.

Which, I also believe that if you back up and deal with the mental health issue in our community, you may actually be able to reduce some of even the rape and the murder and other things, because we’re passing down generational trauma, and that has to be addressed. So I do believe that one day we can abolish the police.”

Republicans and white citizens aren’t the only demographic concerned about the term. According to the study, only 34% of Democrats and 28% of Black citizens support defunding the police.

Protests Against Police Brutality Over Death Of George Floyd Continue In NYC
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 30: Police confront protesters in Union Square on May 30, 2020 in New York City. Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on George Floyd’s neck. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Across the country, protests against Floyd’s death have set off days and nights of rage as its the most recent in a series of deaths of African Americans by the police. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

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Former President Barack Obama caught heat when he suggested altering the slogan. He said people tune out the idea of restructuring the police force when they hear terms like defund.

“If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it’s not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan like ‘Defund The Police,’ but, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done,” Obama told CNN.

He also had a suggestion for a new slogan.

“But if you instead say, ‘Let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s being treated fairly, you know, divert young people from getting into crime, and if there was a homeless guy, can maybe we send a mental health worker there instead of an armed unit that could end up resulting in a tragedy?’ Suddenly, a whole bunch of folks who might not otherwise listen to you are listening to you.”

Obama may be on to something. Overall, 43 percent of participants were in favor of reallocating police funds. Democrats mostly favored the idea at 67%, while just 16% of Republicans support the vision.

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