Black Americans are the most concerned about public safety amid Black Lives Matter protests emerging after the death of George Floyd in police custody at the end of May, according to a new poll.
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey shows that most Americans value the role of the police, with 63% of adults still regard being a police officer as one of the most important jobs in the United States today, down slightly from 68% three years ago.
Twenty-six percent say no to the question “Is being a police officer one of the most important jobs in our country today?” up from 19% in the earlier survey.
The majority of Americans also worry that increasing criticism of the police will make their communities less safe.
The survey finds that 64% are concerned that the growing criticism of America’s police will lead to a shortage of police officers and reduce public safety in the community where they live. But 33% do not share that concern about the risk to public safety.
As many as 67% of black Americans are concerned about public safety where they live, compared to 63% of whites and 65% of other minority Americans.
The survey, conducted from June 21- to June 22, found that more than 60% of both men and women are concerned about local public safety if the criticism of the police worsens.
Those under 40 are the most critical of the police, but they are still worried about public safety if there is a shortage of police officers.
Eighty-three percent of Americans who view being a police officer as one of the most important jobs are concerned about potential public safety risks from a shortage of police. Among those who do not rate the police highly, only 27% share those safety concerns.
Another Rasmussen survey conducted earlier this month revealed that 56% of Americans agreed with President Donald Trump when he said, “Our police have been letting us live in peace, and we want to make sure we don’t have any bad actors in there. [But] 99% of them are great, great people.” Thirty percent did not agree, while 14% were not sure.
Despite the Black Lives Matter movement, which is calling for defunding police departments nationwide, only 27% of American favor reducing the police budget in the community where they live while 59% oppose the budget cut.