Americans Still Praise Police But Are More Skeptical of Officer-Involved Deaths

Most Americans continue to give high praise to their local police and approve of their tactics. But following George Floyd’s death, they’re more critical of police-involved killings.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 67% of American Adults rate the performance of the police in the area where they live as good or excellent. Just nine percent (9%) give them poor marks. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Positive ratings for local police are down from a high of 74% a year ago but are consistent with prior surveying for the past several years.

Little changed from 2018 is the 20% who think the tactics used by police officers where they live are too harsh. Only 12% say they’re not harsh enough, while 55% rate the tactics as about right. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

But 27% of Americans now believe that, generally speaking, most deaths that involve the police are the fault of the police officer. That’s up from 13% last year and a new high. Thirty-seven percent (37%) think most of those deaths are the fault of the suspect, a finding that previously has run in the 50s for several years. A notable 36% are now undecided.

Americans Still Praise Police But Are More Skeptical of Officer-Involved Deaths

Most Americans continue to give high praise to their local police and approve of their tactics. But following George Floyd’s death, they’re more critical of police-involved killings. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 67% of American Adults rate the performance of the police in the area where they live as good or excellent.

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