Protesters march at a recent San Antonio anti-police brutality demonstration.
A new poll
shows that roughly three-quarters of Texas voters — including majorities of both Republicans and Democrats — consider police brutality a serious or somewhat serious problem and that police use-of-force reforms are needed.
Those results, from a poll commissioned by Progress Texas in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests, suggest that there's a broad appetite in the state for reining in police departments, the group said.
“An overwhelming majority of Texas voters agree that police brutality is a problem, and many also believe that funding should be reallocated to support mental health, homelessness and emergency medical services," said Ed Espinoza, executive director of Progress Texas, in written statement. "Right now local leaders across the state have an opportunity to do something about it."
The poll of 907 Texas voters was conducted by Public Policy Polling on June 18 and 19 of this year. Among its findings:
- 73% consider police brutality a serious or somewhat serious problem.
- 72% believe that police need to reform use-of-force practices.
- By a rate of 48% to 35%, voters believe police don't need military-grade vehicles and gear.
- 40% believe that brutality is the fault of individual officers, while another 34% blamed the officers, training academies and chiefs of police.
- 72% say when it comes to budgets, police should not be addressing community issues, such as mental health and homelessness.
“As city councils work on their budgets, we encourage them to listen to their constituents on both sides of the aisle, who know that it’s time to reform, reallocate, and rethink our approach to public safety. Black and Brown Texans’ lives depend on it," Espinoza added.
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