Majority of Voters Endorse Key Policing Reforms

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New polling from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy shows a majority of voters support 10 key policies proposed by competing House and Senate bills that Congress has failed to advance, Politico reports. With the 2020 election nearing, lawmakers are not expected to revisit the issue this year, but a strong national consensus could create a blueprint for congressional action in the future. The national survey of more than 3,000 registered voters included a “policymaking simulation.” Participants were briefed on policy options before being asked to evaluate arguments for and against the proposals and make a final recommendation.

The most popular proposals were requirements for officers to activate body cameras when responding to a call or interacting with a suspect. Respondents expressed broad support for a requirement for officers to intervene when another officer uses excessive force and creation of a national database of police misconduct. Nearly 90 percent of respondents supported body cameras. Eighty-two percent supported the duty to intervene, and 81 percent favored a national registry of police misconduct. At least eight in 10 Democrats supported every proposal surveyed, and a majority of Republicans backed six of them, including a ban on chokeholds and other neck restraints, implicit racial bias training and a policy to hire an independent prosecutor to investigate or charge a law enforcement officer for using deadly force. The other proposals, which at least six in 10 registered voters supported, were de-escalation and use of force as a last resort, banning no-knock warrants, requiring law enforcement agencies to get approval from local government before requesting military equipment, and amending qualified immunity.

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