Former protest supporters are increasingly saying no more. The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a survey showing even Americans who initially approved of and supported protesting for racial injustice now disapprove of the actions taken in the streets.
63-year-old Dave Hipelious of Illinois said, “I was supportive back in June, but after seeing everything up until now, I’m almost dead against them.” The survey found many Americans concur with Hipelious: 44% of Americans disapprove of protests in response to police violence while 39% approve. That is a huge drop from June when 54% of Americans approved of the protests.
Hipelious is white and a self-proclaimed former wild child. “I was a pretty wild young man. Every time the police stopped me, and every issue I had with them, I was completely in the wrong. I do believe they are doing their job right.”
Support for protests in the Latino community dropped as well. Currently 31% approve, compared to 44% in June. 63% of Black Americans support the protests, down from 81%, “with more now saying they neither approve nor disapprove.”
Fox News notes that the survey was conducted before the Wednesday riots after a former Louisville police officer was not charged for the death, specifically, of Breonna Taylor. The officer received criminal charges for endangering neighbors from his stray bullets.
Additional data from the survey showed “eighty-four percent of Black Americans, but just 42% of white Americans and 50% of Latinos, say police more often use deadly force against a Black person than a white person. 74% of Black Americans say the criminal justice system is too lenient when officers cause injury or death, 47% of white Americans and 50% of Latinos say the same.”
Down party lines, 75% of Republicans say they disapprove of the protests, up from 56% in June. 70% of Democrats approve, and roughly half describe them as mostly or all peaceful. 52% of Republicans now say protests are mostly or all violent, up from 36%