Poll: Only 16% of Americans Want to ‘Defund the Police’; 65% Oppose

Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti via AP, File

LOS ANGELES — Democrats have begun embracing calls to “defund” or even “abolish” police departments. But a new YouGov poll shows that only 16% of Americans approve of that — including just 33% of black Americans.

The poll, conducted May 29-30 — before the worst of the rioting in New York, Washington, Santa Monica, and other cities — included 1,060 adults and asked a variety of questions about what kinds of police reform people support.

Defunding the police came dead last. 65% of Americans opposed it. Only 16% of Democrats supported it — the same proportion as Americans overall. The highest proportion of support (25%) was among millennials, ages 30 to 44.

The most popular option was training police to de-escalate conflicts and the use of force, which was favored by 88% of respondents, including 94% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans. Body cameras were also favored widely.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he was cutting up to $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department, more than 10% of its budget, and “reinvesting” funds into “communities of color.”

Garcetti appeared to bow to the demands of left-wing groups, as demonstrators marched in the streets of the boarded-up cities chanting anti-police slogans. Some held signs like “DEFUND LAPD” and “COPS 4 NOT ESSENTIAL.’

The Los Angeles Police Department has been a frequent target of radical  protest, though it has reformed significantly since the riots of the early 1990s over the beating of Rodney King and the acquittal of the police officers involved.

This week’s protests were sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day, but were accompanied in many cities by riots, looting, and vandalism — including religious houses of worship.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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