Black People Overwhelmingly Want To Maintain—or Increase—Police Presence. They Also Want Better Police.

“”Our key finding was that Black Americans preferred to maintain (or increase) police patrol and spending, and that this preference was not conditional on the described crime rates or policing reforms,” write Linda Balcarová and Justin Pickett of the University at Albany, SUNY; Amanda Graham and Sean Patrick Roche of Texas State University; and Francis T. Cullen of the University of Cincinnati. “Most Black Americans reported that even if crime rates fell and even if there were no new policing reforms, they still wanted to maintain or increase police patrol and spending.””

“It is well-established that black people are disproportionately afraid of cops, particularly in comparison to their white counterparts. Black Americans are reportedly more than five times as likely than white people to fear excessive force from police. What’s more, a study by three of the same researchers—Pickett, Graham, and Cullen—found that 42 percent of black respondents were “very afraid” police would kill them sometime within the next five years. Only 11 percent of white respondents feared the same thing.

But in their more recent study, they found that such fear coexists, however counterintuitively, with that strong desire to keep or increase police presence and funding. According to their data, 81 percent of black Americans who say they are afraid or very afraid of cops want to maintain or increase police spending”

“Just as the data make clear that black Americans are more likely to fear police, it is also plainly true that black people are disproportionately the victims of violence. It follows, then, that the people most impacted by crime are going to have strong feelings about abating it however possible. And while police are not always adept at solving crime—in 2022, for example, police cleared about 37 percent of violent offenses reported to them—their presence does have a deterrent effect on criminal activity, which also comports with basic common sense.”

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