Yet more data is accumulating which indicates that the Democrats are severely overplaying their hand on the entire “police reform” debate. In the city of Detroit, residents have seen more than their fair share of protests – some of which devolve into riots – where calls for abolishing or defunding the police fill the air. But a new poll conducted by USA Today and Suffolk University indicates that prioritizing those types of ideas is not even slightly popular with the public. As it turns out, public safety is near the top of the list of priorities while “police reform” comes in dead last. (USA Today)
Amid a jump in violent crime in this and other cities nationwide, Detroit residents report being much more worried about public safety than about police misconduct, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University/Detroit Free Press Poll finds.
By an overwhelming 9-1, they would feel safer with more cops on the street, not fewer. Though one-third complain that Detroit police use force when it isn’t necessary – and Black men report high rates of racial profiling – those surveyed reject by 3-1 the slogan of some progressives to “defund the police.”
“It’s scary sitting in the house, and when you go outside to the gas station or the store, it’s possible someone will be shooting right next to you,” said Charlita Bell, 41, a lifelong Detroit resident who was among those called in the poll.
Glenn Greenwald summed up the results nicely.
These are staggering new poll numbers from @USATODAY on the views of Detroit residents on issues of crime and policing, and constitute yet more evidence of how wide the gap is between the discourse of media elites on these questions and everyone else:https://t.co/6Uw4sxyUQb
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 25, 2021
How many people want more police on the streets rather than fewer? 90%. And that includes a very significant majority of Black respondents. Three times as many people rejected the phrase “defund the police” as supported it.
Presented with a list of eight current challenges facing Detroit, the largest number of people chose education, but coming in at number two was public safety. “Police reform” came in dead last with 4% choosing that as the most pressing issue. Breaking down the question along racial lines, the divide was even wider. Black respondents flipped the top two concerns, with crime and public safety beating out education with 24%. Only 3% of Black participants selected police reform.
None of this means that Black Detroit residents are thrilled with the cops, of course. Black men, in particular, report being stopped by the police during criminal investigations at vastly higher rates than white residents. (Detroit’s population is 78.3% Black and 14.7% white.) 58% rated the performance of the Detroit PD as either only “fair” or “poor.” 33% rated them as “good” while just 7% said they were “excellent.” But at the same time, more than 80% said they would ask the police for help when trouble arose and nearly 90% claimed they would like to provide the police with information needed to solve a crime.
There have been a lot of Democrats around the country buttering their bread by playing up all this talk of abolishing or defunding the police. The more we see these sorts of poll results coming in, the more we should realize that this is not a winning message with the voters. That is almost certainly one of the bigger factors in why Eric Adams (a retired police officer and former Republican) is on his way to being the next Mayor of New York City. Let’s see if that formula picks up steam anywhere else.