Poll: Confidence in police is at a 22-year low—except with conservatives and Republicans

A new poll shows that confidence in the police has hit a 22-year low.

Gallup reports that 52 percent of those polled expressed “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in law enforcement. While that means that a majority of Americans have faith in the institution, it’s well below 2004’s high of 64 percent.

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The last time Gallup observed a stat as low as 52 percent was in 1993, the same year that four previously acquitted LAPD officers were put on trial for the 1991 beating of Rodney King, who was black. It’s interesting to wonder whether the events in Ferguson, Baltimore, McKinney, and elsewhere coupled with the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement played a similar role in this current decline.

Confidence in the police dropped across every group of American adults that Gallup polled except for three: independents, conservatives, and Republicans.

Fifty-one percent of independents expressed confidence in law enforcement, the same findings as last year. Confidence actually rose among self-identified conservatives over the last 12 months (from 60 to 63 percent), and the same is true about Republicans (from 68 to 69 percent).

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