The state of Maryland in general and the City of Baltimore, in particular, appear to have a twisted love-hate relationship with their police departments. Or at least that’s the takeaway I’m getting from a new Goucher College poll that was released this week. An extensive survey asked residents about their various attitudes toward the police, the Black Lives Matter movement and proposed reforms to law enforcement procedures and training. No matter which side of the ideological fence you may sit on, there are some figures in there that might surprise you. Unlike the claptrap we constantly hear from Antifa rioters and social justice warriors that are a staple of cable news these days, most people actually support the police. But at the same time, they also support a variety of reforms. (CBS Baltimore)
In a new Goucher College poll, most Marylanders say they want to see some type of police reform even though most are favorable toward police.
This new Goucher Poll asked Maryland residents about their thoughts on police, police reform and the Black Lives Matter movement…
“Maryland residents are largely supportive of key police reforms that are currently being discussed by state lawmakers and have dominated our national discourse. Some of these proposals, like creating statewide use-of-force policies and requiring police officers to undergo racial bias training, earn support from majorities of Democrats and Republicans,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College.
On the question of whether people “view the police favorably,” 66% were favorable and only 30% were unfavorable. There was a rather stark racial divide on that question, though. 73% of White respondents were in the favorable camp, while a slim majority of 54% of Black residents said the same. The Black Lives Matter movement was in nearly the same boat at 69/25 favorability. But, again, Black respondents were far more inclined to see it favorably while Whites favored it by a slim majority.
The area where the conflicting responses showed up was on the question of funding. I’ve gone through the results several times and it’s been giving me a headache. When asked if they supported a movement to “defund the police,” 68 percent opposed the idea while only 28 percent supported it. So far, so good. But when asked if they supported “reducing the budget for the police department and shifting the funds to social programs,” 54% said they supported that and 43% were opposed. Excuse me, folks, but has anyone mentioned to you that “reducing the budget” is the same thing as “defunding?”
They were also asked if they supported “funding for police to hire more or better-trained officers.” A whopping 79% agreed with that proposal. These people are all over the place. I don’t think they even understood the questions, to say nothing of the implications.
The one positive takeaway that the media should take note of from this survey is the one pointed out above. Even in Black communities, a majority of people still support the police and apparently know what life would be like if they went away. And if they didn’t know, they would need to look no further than the horror shows found in the “CHOP” zones in Portland and Minneapolis. A warning about how you’ll miss the police if they go away doesn’t go nearly far enough.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Maryland probably isn’t an outlier here. The media has largely done such a ridiculously bad job of covering all the “peaceful protests” and the BLM movement and calls to defund the police that voters could understandably be confused. Hatred of the police is popular in leftist media circles and activist marches, but it’s far from a majority position in the country. But to listen to most of the talking heads on CNN, you get the impression that the country is ready to scrap the cops entirely and fend for themselves. Good luck with that. We’ve been hearing all sorts of accusations of supposed “vigilante justice” around the country lately. If you lose the police, you’ll get a look at what actual vigilante justice looks like. And it won’t be pretty.