Sixteen percent of Americans support cutting funding for police departments, according to a national poll taken amid international protests against police violence.
Of those surveyed in the YouGov poll, 65% opposed cutting funding for police departments. The poll came a few days after the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, according to video of the incident.
There was a divide between white and black Americans who responded, however. Seventy-five percent of white respondents opposed cutting funding compared to 36% of black respondents. Twelve percent of white respondents supported cutting funding versus 33% of black respondents.
Meanwhile, a “veto-proof majority” of the Minneapolis City Council voted to dismantle the city’s police department over the weekend. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed at a protest Saturday after not committing to abolishing the city’s police force.
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota told protesters that citizens “need to completely dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.” (RELATED: ‘I Only Kneel For One Person’: Black Georgia State Trooper Refuses To Kneel At Black Lives Matter Protest)
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said in a primary debate Friday that she was actively advocating for a “reduction” of the New York Police Department’s budget, which she said was taking away from potential investment in housing.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wouldn’t answer questions Sunday about removing a “defund the police” inscription, which activists painted on a D.C. street. Bowser’s office had commissioned local artists and activists to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the street Friday.
Celebrities including Lizzo, Chris Martin and John Legend signed an online petition demanding divestment from police departments.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) June 3, 2020
Despite the growing fervor behind defunding police departments around the country, several leaders have come out against the idea echoing the views of most Americans.
“I don’t believe that you should disband police departments,” Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.
Bass chairs the Congressional Black Caucus.
The YouGov poll was conducted with Yahoo News from May 29 to 30. The poll surveyed 1,060 U.S. adults. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 4.3%.
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