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Poll: Most Americans Disagree with Trump’s Approach to Police Reform


FILE - Riot police chase a man as they rush protesters to clear Lafayette Park and the area around it across from the White House for President Donald Trump to be able to walk through for a photo opportunity in front of St. John's Episcopal Church, June 1

A public opinion poll shows that most Americans disagree with U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach to police reform, a view that has gained momentum since May 25, when George Floyd, an African American man, died while in police custody.

Trump said when signing an executive order on policing last month that he “strongly oppose(s) the radical and dangerous efforts to defund, dismantle and dissolve our police departments, especially now when we’ve achieved the lowest recorded crime rates in recent history.”

He added: “Americans know the truth. Without police, there is chaos. Without law, there is anarchy. And without safety, there is catastrophe.”

A new poll conducted by Monmouth University found that more than three quarters of American adults, 77 percent, want to “change the way police operate” while only 18 percent want to “get rid of police.”

The Republican president’s reelection campaign is unveiling new ads attacking the defund-the-police movement and has tried to use it against presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden, however, is opposed to wholesale cuts to police department budgets. Biden said last month he favored linking federal money to essential changes within police agencies, including an adherence to a nationwide standard on police use of force and the disclosure of police misconduct information.

More than two-thirds of Americans, 62%, believe Trump’s management of the recent protests on police reform has made the “current situation worse.” Twenty percent said he made the situation better.

Monmouth University, based in the Northeastern state of New Jersey, surveyed 867 adults in the U.S. over a four-day period ending June 30. The poll’s margin of error is about 3 percentage points.