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More Americans troubled by police actions in George Floyd killing than violence at protests: poll

More Americans troubled by police actions in George Floyd killing than violence at protests: poll
© Bonnie Cash

Americans are more concerned about the death of George Floyd in police custody than they are about the protests following his death, including those that have turned violent, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Fifty-nine percent of voters said they are more troubled by Floyd’s death, including 54 percent of white respondents, 65 percent of Latino respondents and 78 percent of black respondents. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they were more concerned about the protests.

The poll also found a partisan split, with 81 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents more concerned about Floyd’s death compared to 29 percent of Republicans.

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Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for several minutes as Floyd protested that he was unable to breathe.

Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter before Minnesota Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonProgressives unveil Biden Cabinet wish list Officers involved with George Floyd killing will stand trial together in Minneapolis, judge decides Trump lashes out at state officials over virus restrictions at Minnesota rally MORE (D) upgraded the charge to second-degree murder and charged three other officers who were present with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Protests have spread across the country since Floyd’s death, with demonstrations occurring in all 50 states. The first several days of protests included incidents of looting and property damage, prompting several cities to impose curfews, but the last several days have been overwhelmingly peaceful and nearly all cities have lifted the curfews.

The same poll found 80 percent of Americans thought things in the country are “out of control,” including 66 percent of Republicans, 92 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of independents.  Only 15 percent of respondents said they believed things in the country are generally under control.

Pollsters surveyed 1,000 registered voters between May 28 and June 2. The poll has a 3.1-point margin of error.