Negative emotions surged early in George Floyd protests: Gallup
© Getty Images

Shortly after protests over the death of George Floyd began to sweep the nation, negative emotions among Americans in the first week of June surged before returning to former levels the following week, according to polling from Gallup.

Both anger and sadness peaked at 38 percent in the week of June 1-7, according to Gallup, while from June 8-14, 27 percent said they felt angry and 30 percent said they felt sad.

Feelings of worry rose in the polling from 46 percent in the final week of May to 50 percent in the first week of June, before falling to 47 percent in the second week of June.


Fifty-two percent reported feeling stress during the final week of May, compared to 55 percent the first week of June and 51 percent the second week.

Gallup also found two positive emotions, enjoyment and happiness, similarly dipped in the first week of June and rebounded the second.

Floyd was killed in Minneapolis on May 25 after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Unrest over his death built as more and more people learned of the incident. 

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin now faces charges of second-degree murder. 

Gallup also found Americans are less likely to report worry and stress and more likely to report happiness and enjoyment compared to late March and early April, a period when nearly every U.S. state was under some form of lockdown or stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, with every state in some phase of reopening, U.S. adults are about as likely as they were earlier in the pandemic to report anger and sadness, according to Gallup.

White and non-white respondents showed similar increases in negative emotions, including anger, between the last week of May and the first week of June.

However, non-whites saw a larger increase in sadness during that same period. Whites reporting sadness increased from 27 percent to 35 percent, while non-whites reporting sadness went from 34 percent to 46 percent.