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New poll shows lasting support for Black Lives Matter with people of color

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More than a year after the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black people forced a national reckoning with race, support for the movement has not waned in communities of color, a new Pew Research Center poll finds.

When asked about the Black Lives Matter movement, 83 percent of Black Americans surveyed espoused some level of support, with 58 percent saying they “strongly” backed the cause.

Overall support was slightly lower among Hispanic and Asian respondents — 60 percent and 68 percent, respectively — while only 47 percent of white respondents said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” supported the resurgent movement.

In a Pew poll last June, two-thirds of all adults either somewhat or strongly supported Black Lives Matter. At the time, 60 percent of white respondents approved of the movement.

That percentage dropped to 55 percent last September, though Pew’s latest version of the survey indicates the level of majority support has stayed steady since.

While the calls for police reform haven’t gone away, Congress is at an impasse of the issue after negotiations between Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) fell apart last week.

Since the spring, the trio had been trying to forge a compromise on Democrats’ George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

However, after announcing that a framework agreement had been reached in June, talks lost momentum and stalled.

Over the weekend, Scott described a measure in the legislation that would have required police departments to meet new standards to continue receiving federal aid as “defunding the police.”

“We want the best wearing the badge, and we want the vulnerable protected,” Scott told CBS News’s Margaret Brennan. “So when you tie funding losses in this legislation, you should expect an allergic reaction from me.”

In an interview with CNN, Booker expressed his disappointment over the failed deal.

“It was a frustrating experience in the sense that we had the biggest civil rights demonstrations in this country’s history asking for change,” the New Jersey senator said.

“We wanted to have more transparency, higher professional standards and real accountability. If you break the law, you shouldn’t be shielded from that,” he added.

On Tuesday, a pair of police unions pushed back against the notion that the legislation would have defunded the police.

“Despite some media reports, at no point did any legislative draft propose ‘defunding the police,’” the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police said in a statement.

“The legislation specifically provided additional funding to assist law enforcement agencies in training, agency accreditation, and data collection initiatives,” the groups added. “It is our joint belief that the provisions under discussion would have strengthened the law enforcement profession and helped improve the state of community police engagement without compromising management and officers’ rights, authorities, and legal protections.”

Tags Black Lives Matter Cory Booker Karen Bass police reform Tim Scott
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