Activists and community advocates have finally gotten the public and politicians to pay attention to American policing and the system’s large purse, but a new June poll by Data for Progress and the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) shows that Black voters are still more progressive than any other demographic voter in the nation when it comes to supporting police reform.

“The protests following George Floyd’s murder have lead to wide-ranging discussion on the role of police in American society,” reads the survey’s summary, which polled 1,157 likely voters. “The way in which a militarized police-state brutalizes and discriminates against Black Americans has, once again, been exposed.”

But does exposure also lead to consensus? This poll says maybe not. For example, while 71 percent of Black voters say the Black community should have local control over institutions like schools and police budgets, only 38 percent of White voters agreed, a 33 percentage point difference. In addition, Black voters say they prefer community-based models to law enforcement to address the roots of crime at 20 percentage points higher than Whites. The major argument against community-based approaches: It wouldn’t keep people safe.

Additional findings from the report: 

  • 72 percent of Black voters support divestment from police, compared to 37 percent of Whites.
  • 65 percent of Black voters support the Minneapolis City Council’s recent decision to dismantle their police department for a community-based safety model, compared to 35 percent of Whites.
  • Voters split evenly at 43 percent on whether Black communities should have more local power.  

To see the complete poll results, click here.