Amid anger, pleas for calm

Poll: Sup­port for racial in­jus­tice protests falls


NEW YORK — As the de­ci­sion in Ken­tucky to bring charges against only one of three po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved in the raid that killed Bre­onna Tay­lor sparks re­newed protests na­tion­wide, a new sur­vey finds sup­port has fallen for demon­stra­tions against sys­temic racism.

The poll from The As­so­ci­ated PRESS-NORC Cen­ter for Public Af­fairs Re­search finds that 44% of Amer­i­cans dis­ap­prove of protests in re­sponse to po­lice vi­o­lence against Black Amer­i­cans, while 39% ap­prove. In June, 54% ap­proved. The new sur­vey was con­ducted Sept. 11-14, be­fore Wed­nes­day’s an­nounce­ment that a lone Louisville po­lice of­fi­cer would be charged in the Tay­lor case, but not for her ac­tual death.

Overnight, demon­stra­tors in cities from New York to Las Ve­gas marched through streets and chanted Tay­lor’s name.

The poll finds the per­cent­age of Amer­i­cans who be­lieve po­lice vi­o­lence un­equally tar­gets Black Amer­i­cans and that greater con­se­quences for po­lice bru­tal­ity are nec­es­sary have also fallen from June, when an AP-NORC sur­vey found sweep­ing changes in how Amer­i­cans view these is­sues.

The June sur­vey fol­lowed the late May killing of Ge­orge Floyd at the hands of Min­neapo­lis po­lice, which re­newed fo­cus on Tay­lor’s ear­lier death, in March.

The new poll finds the re­cent shift in opin­ion is pro­nounced among white Amer­i­cans and Repub­li­cans, whose views on po­lice vi­o­lence and racial in­equity in polic­ing look closer to the way they did in 2015 af­ter the high-pro­file po­lice killings of sev­eral Black men. Just 35% of white Amer­i­cans ap­prove of the protests now, while 50% dis­ap­prove. In June, 53% ap­proved while 34% dis­ap­proved.

Among Lati­nos, 31% ap­prove, com­pared with 44% in June; 63% of Black Amer­i­cans sup­port the protests, down from 81%, with more now say­ing they nei­ther ap­prove nor dis­ap­prove.

Eighty-four per­cent of Black Amer­i­cans, but just 42% of white Amer­i­cans and 50% of Lati­nos, say po­lice more of­ten use deadly force against a Black per­son than a white per­son.

Darron CUM­MINGS / as­so­ci­ated press

A women kneels Thurs­day in front of a makeshift me­mo­rial in honor of Bre­onna Tay­lor at Jef­fer­son Square Park in Louisville, Ky.

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