Americans agree across party lines on some proposed police reform policies, according to the results of a Washington Post/ABC News poll released last weekend.
Eighty-six percent of Americans support the use of body cameras, the poll found, and 87 percent are in favor of a policy requiring an investigation by an independent, outside prosecutor whenever police kill an unarmed civilian.
Unlike many of the other issues related to recent police shootings or the subsequent protests, the Washington Post notes that the proposals spark relatively little divide across the ideological spectrum. More than three-quarters of both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans back both the use of body cameras and independent prosecutors.
The results are consistent with past polling, which has also found widespread approval for some reforms. In a HuffPost/YouGov poll taken in late November, 84 percent of Americans, including more than three-quarters of both Republicans and Democrats, supported police officers wearing body cameras. Fifty-eight percent thought it was a good idea to have a Justice Department investigation into whether officers in the Ferguson Police Department routinely used racial profiling or excessive force.
But other divides remain, especially along racial lines.
In the Washington Post/ABC poll, 52 percent of white Americans, but just 10 percent of black Americans, said blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment with whites in the criminal justice system. Whites were three times more likely than blacks to say the police treat races equally, and more than twice as likely as blacks to say the police try hard enough to maintain good relations with different communities, are adequately trained to avoid excessive force or are held accountable for misconduct.
The Washington Post/ABC poll was conducted Dec. 11-14, using live telephone interviewers to reach 1,000 adults on both landlines and cell phones.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place