A majority of the U.S. public supports many policing reform measures, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC) report published June 23.

Seven out of 10 possible policing reforms polled by AP-NORC are strongly or somewhat favored by a majority of adults:

  • Requiring on-duty police officers to wear video cameras that would record their interactions with the public as they occur: 88%
  • Requiring officers to report misconduct by their peers: 87%
  • Establishing clear standards for the use of force by police officers: 86%
  • Prosecuting police officers who use excessive force: 84%
  • Penalizing officers for racially biased policing: 82%
  • Requiring all police officers to participate in more extensive racial bias training: 80%
  • Penalizing police supervisors for racially biased policing by their subordinate officers: 69%

Responses were mixed for the remaining three reforms surveyed:

  • Limiting police use of military equipment: 50%
  • Reducing the criminal justice system’s focus on policing and prosecuting low-level offenses: 46%
  • Reducing funding for law enforcement agencies: 25%

White and Black support for these possible reforms was fairly similar, but notable differences emerged when respondents were asked about encounters with police.

Blacks (51%) were far more likely than whites (6%) to say they had been treated unfairly by police. Overall, 16% of respondents reported unfair treatment.

A similar pattern emerged when polling about whether “police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person, or more likely to use it against a white person, or don’t you think race affects police use of deadly force.”

Ninety-two percent of Black respondents said deadly force by police was more likely against a Black person, compared to 54% of white respondents. While 43% of whites said race doesn’t affect policing, only 4% of Blacks agreed with this view.

A strong majority (83%) of Blacks also affirmed that “police violence against the public in the United States is a very serious / extremely serious problem,” while only 39% of whites did so.

The full report is available here. The topline results are available here.

Share This