Majority of Black Americans optimistic about change after nationwide protests: poll

Black Americans are optimistic that nationwide protests this month against police brutality and racial inequality will ignite change, according to a poll released Wednesday.

A Washington Post-Ipsos poll found that 59 percent of polled Black Americans believe the movement sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, will bring change. Fifty-four percent of Black Americans surveyed said they think it’s likely police treatment of Black people will improve.

The poll also found that 95 percent of Black Americans thought they were discriminated against by police. About 75 percent of Hispanic respondents also thought police discriminate against Black people, and so did 60 percent of white people.

One in every three Black people surveyed said they felt personally threatened by a police officer in the past few years, compared to 8 percent of Hispanics and 5 percent of white people.

Since Floyd’s death several state and local law enforcement agencies have banned chokeholds, and Congress has started debating legislation on police reform. Several cities have begun to reassess their police budgets as activists demand they redirect police funding to community resources. 

About 90 percent of Black Americans disapprove of President Trump’s response to Floyd’s death, and about three-quarters disapprove of his response to the protests that followed it, the poll found. Only 60 percent of white Americans disapproved of Trump’s handling of both Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests.

The Post-Ipsos poll was conducted June 9-14 and surveyed 1,153 non-Hispanic Black adults and 742 white adults with a margin of error of 4 percentage points for each sample. Among a sample of 1,051 U.S. adults overall the poll reported a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Tags Donald Trump police reform

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