Most Americans in new survey say police reforms necessary
An overwhelming majority of Americans in a new survey said that they believe there should be changes to U.S. police departments amid calls for reform in the wake of Tyre Nichols’s death in Memphis, Tenn.
The CBS News/YouGov poll, published Sunday, found that 89 percent of respondents said that there should be changes within police departments in the U.S., while 11 percent of those surveyed disagree.
Almost half of the respondents — 47 percent — said that major changes should be made in police departments, while 42 percent said that minor changes should be implemented.
Along political party lines, 95 percent of Democrats surveyed said that there should be changes made within police departments in the U.S., while only 5 percent disagreed.
Eighty-four percent of Republican respondents said that there should be changes made within police departments in the U.S., while 16 percent disagreed, according to the poll.
Eighty-nine percent of Independent respondents said there should be reforms implemented in U.S-based police departments, and 11 percent disagreed.
When asked if police reform in the U.S. is a high priority, 61 percent of Democrats said that it is, as did 47 percent of Independents and 29 percent of Republicans.
The new polling comes as many prominent figures have made a renewed effort to pass police reform legislation after the death of Nichols, a 29-year-old Black male who died three days after being beaten, punched and kicked by five Memphis Police Department officers.
Body camera footage of the incident, which occurred last month, showed the five police officers beating Nichols for three minutes and leaving him on the ground without any medical attention for more than 20 minutes afterward.
The five Memphis police officers, who are all Black, were fired from their positions within the department and have been charged with second-degree murder and other offenses in relation to the incident.
Memphis, Tenn. Mayor Jim Strickland (D) said that the Department of Justice will conduct a review of the city police department in relation to Nichols’s death.
The CBS News/YouGov poll was conducted from February 1 to February 4 with a total of 2,300 respondents participating in the survey. The poll’s margin of error is 3 percentage points.
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