Small Survey Finds Negative Feelings Among Police Toward Black Lives Matter
Posted on Feb 16, 2017
A new survey conducted by Aizman Law Firm asked 200 police officers across the nation about race relations and policing, and found that 87 percent of those surveyed harbored negative feelings toward the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
The Aizman survey, “Blue Voices on Black Lives Matter,” states:
However, the survey also found that while many officers felt negatively about BLM, few felt that race played a factor in their own feelings of safety:
Past studies have found evidence of racial biases in policing—most recently, for example, a Harvard study based on collected data concluded that “[e]ven when the police said that civilians were compliant, blacks experienced more force.”
The Aizman survey comes as many Americans are expressing concern over the future of policing in America, as President Trump has promised to be tough on crime in inner cities—a message often charged with racial stereotypes.
Others believe Trump’s administration has shown outright opposition to BLM. “But insofar as the Obama administration was an ally to Black Lives Matter—and it was, if only through the Justice Department’s series of scathing reports on systemic racism and misconduct in police departments in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and Chicago—Trump has now promised, in his official capacity as the 45th president of the United States, to be its enemy,” Slate’s Leon Neyfakh wrote in late January.
BLM has begun to mobilize in response to the new administration. Brandon Ellington Patterson of Mother Jones wrote last week:
Since taking office, Trump has signed executive orders reinforcing his commitment to “fight crime, gangs, and drugs; restore law and order; and support the dedicated men and women of law enforcement.”
John Raphling of The Hill notes, however, that “the vague language of the order and related policy statements from the Trump administration feel ominous because of what the president hasn’t said—that the federal government also has an important role to play in helping to ensure that police departments are accountable.”
And even police officers themselves are expressing doubts about Trump’s stance on law enforcement. The New York Times reports:
Trump’s opinions toward BLM and policing are unlikely to help the dissonance that the “Blue Voices on Black Lives Matter” survey uncovered.
“In stark contrast with their earlier statements that race doesn’t matter, however, 26 percent of officers said that they believe black people are more likely to be up to no good,” the Aizman survey concludes, “and 11 percent said that officers are more likely to stop, search, or react violently toward black individuals.”
—Posted by Emma Niles.
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