Story at a glance

  • A poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC news surveyed Americans on sentiment towards law enforcement.
  • Most said Americans of color are treated differently or unfairly.
  • A plurality found President Biden to not be doing enough.

New data sourced by The Washington Post and ABC news suggests that more Americans feel that minority groups in the U.S. are not treated as equally as their white counterparts, exhibiting a larger trend of more Americans recognizing racism in the U.S. criminal justice system.

This sentiment is more prominent among Black and Hispanic American adults polled by both outlets, but the trend of increasing awareness is present within white respondents. 

Running parallel to this statistic, confidence in the police has broadly decreased. Data from April 2021 compared to December 2014 data notes that this sentiment is consistent across white, Black and Hispanic demographics.


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The solution? Do more to hold police departments accountable for racist and discriminatory policing.  

Six in 10 Americans say police should be held more accountable for mistreating Black people, a concern that far outpaced worries that reform and additional measures would interfere with how law enforcement does its job, according to The Post. 

The poll was conducted between April 18-21, encapsulating the conviction of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck and killed him in May 2020.

Predictably, feelings surrounding police reform and a criminal justice system with institutionalized racism vary along party lines. Democrat and Independent respondents found more bias in the institution in comparison to Republican respondents.

The Post elaborates that more women said government institutions should hold police accountable for racist conduct towards Black Americans.

Overall, 42 percent of respondents — a plurality — said President Biden is doing “too little” in regards to reforming police practices and addressing law enforcement’s systemic racism. 


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Published on Apr 23, 2021