Poll: Nearly Half of Voters Think Anti-Police Protests Hurt Public Safety

A man holds a Black Lives Matter sign as a police car burns during a protest on May 29, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Demonstrations are being held across the US after George Floyd died in police custody on May 25th in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

In the wake of last summer’s Black Lives Matter riots and a continuing crime wave across America’s big cities, nearly half of voters think anti-police protests hurt public safety.

According to a Rasmussen poll released Thursday, 49 percent of voters think last year’s protests against the police decreased public safety. In contrast, only 22 percent of voters said the protests helped public safety and 21 percent don’t think they made any difference.

Even though many people believe anti-police protests have harmed public safety, 49 percent of voters still have a favorable view of Black Lives Matter (BLM), according to the poll. However, views of the movement have turned more negative over time. In June 2020, 62 percent of voters had a favorable view of the movement.

Voters who are strong supporters of President Biden are also most supportive of BLM and least likely to believe anti-police protests hurt public safety, according to the poll.

Among voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 60% have a Very Favorable impression of BLM and just 19% think last year’s protests against police hurt public safety. By contrast, among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, 72% have a Very Unfavorable impression of BLM and 79% believe anti-police protests hurt public safety.

Views of police and the BLM movement are largely split along party lines.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of Republican voters believe last year’s anti-police protests hurt public safety and only 31 percent have a favorable impression of BLM.  A majority (52 percent) of GOP voters have a Very Unfavorable impression of BLM, according to the report.

Thirty-two percent of Democrats and 52 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party believe public safety decreased because of last year’s anti-police protests. Seventy-two percent of Democrats and 43 percent of unaffiliated voters of have a favorable impression of BLM.

A strong majority  — 63 percent — of voters “reject the accusation that most police officers are racist” and 18 percent of voters think most police are racist.

The survey of 900 U.S. likely voters was conducted on June 22- June 23, 2021. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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