Law and Order: Polls Show Public Wants Criminals Prosecuted, Police Protected

Seattle police officers arrest a protester during a "Youth Day of Action and Solidarity with Portland" demonstration in Seattle, Washington on July 25, 2020. - Police in Seattle used flashbang grenades and pepper spray Saturday against protesters who set fire to construction trailers outside a youth jail, amid a wave …
JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

The vast majority of Americans believe criminals should be prosecuted and police should be protected, despite the anti-police, pro-protester narrative dominating the establishment media, surveys show.

Prominent Democrat Party leaders — from presidential candidate Joe Biden (D) to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D)  — have maintained that the majority of protests across the country have been peaceful. Many Democrat leaders have largely failed to authoritatively condemn the violence and destruction in cities like Portland and Seattle, drawing concern from Attorney General William Barr.

“What makes me concerned for the country is [that] this is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic Party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts,” Barr said during Tuesday’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

“Why can’t we just say: ‘Violence against federal courts has to stop?’ Could we hear something like that?” he asked.

While the establishment media and Democrat Party leaders largely refuse to condemn the violence, nor express support for law enforcement officers working to quell the unrest, polls show that the majority of Americans feel differently.

A Harvard/HarrisPoll, taken July 21-23, asked registered voters, “Do you think that those who are committing riots and looting should be prosecuted or not prosecuted?”

An overwhelming majority, 85 percent, said they should be prosecuted, and only 15 percent indicated otherwise:

The survey also asked respondents if those who are destroying public states, specifically, should be prosecuted. Over three-fourths, or 78 percent, said yes.

Similarly, 72 percent of respondents indicated that the police should “not” be defunded. Only 28 percent explicitly supported the idea of defunding the police:

Another 77 percent said they are either “extremely” or “very” concerned by rising crime in American cities. Among those concerned, the biggest share of respondents, 42 percent, attribute the rising crime to protests and protesters, specifically. Twenty-eight percent attributed the rise in crime to rising unemployment, followed by “police afraid of engaging,” “budget cuts affecting the police,” and “police willingly pulling back.”

Among all 1,932 respondents surveyed, 54 percent said that police have been treated “unfairly” by the media in recent weeks.

A recently released Reuters/Ipsos survey told a similar story, showing 63 percent opposing the movement to defund police. It also showed that the majority of Americans oppose proposals to “completely dismantle police departments and give more financial support to address homelessness, mental health, and domestic violence. However, a majority support moving “some money” to address those issues:

According to the survey, 50 percent believe “police are doing a good job handling these protests.” About 42 percent disagree with that statement, and eight percent did not express an opinion.

The Reuters/Ipsos survey was conducted July 27-28, 2020, among 1,115 Americans, 947 of whom are registered voters. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3.3 percent.

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