As social justice protests ramp up again in Louisville, Ky., New York and elsewhere following the grand jury indictment in the Breonna Taylor case, a poll released this week from The Associated Press and the NORC Center shows public support for the activities declining since the summer.
Nearly one half of Americans disapprove of the demonstrations that occur in response to police-involved shootings, and more recently the judicial decisions in those cases.
Conducted before the jury in Louisville declined to file murder charges against three officers — instead charging one with multiple counts of wanton endangerment — the poll showed 44 percent of those surveyed disapproved.
That figure is down from the 54 percent of Americans who approved in June — shortly after the death of George Floyd first sparked the urban unrest. Floyd’s death had also sparked a renewed focus on the shooting that killed Taylor months earlier in March.
“I was supportive back in June, but after seeing everything up until now, I’m almost dead against them,” said Dave Hipelious, 63, of New Lenox, Illinois, who is a retired pipe fitter in the energy industry.
Hipelious, who is white, said his support for the protests soured when he saw violent unrest, arson and looting that marred the largely peaceful demonstrations following Floyd’s death.
The poll found the percentage of Americans who believe police violence unequally targets Black Americans and that greater consequences for police brutality are necessary have also fallen from June, when an AP-NORC survey found sweeping changes in how Americans view these issues.
The survey showed that in 2015 among all Americans, the idea that police are more likely to use deadly force against a Black suspect was 49 percent. In June 2020, that number was 61 percent, and in the September poll, 50 percent.
Divided into parties, 70 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of Republicans agreed with that sentiment in 2015, while the figure saw a spike in June to 87 percent among Democrats and 35 percent among Republicans.
In September, 84 percent of Democrats surveyed believed police are more likely to use deadly force against African-Americans, compared to 17 percent of Republican respondents.
In analyzing the results, University of Michigan political scientist Christian Davenport said the nation has historically seen public support wane among white Americans for social justice movements — what he calls “compassion fatigue.”
“When this was all about the video and the visceral response to seeing someone’s life get squeezed out of them, that’s fine,” Davenport said. “But from the moment that topic is raised to awareness, the clock starts ticking with regards to, ‘How quickly can we resolve this so I can get back to my normal life?’”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The post Amid Kentucky unrest, AP poll shows public support for racial justice protests falling appeared first on Fox News.