A year ago, the police were in a bad spot. Support for law enforcement appeared to be at an all-time low. Mobs in the streets–mobs police weren’t really being allowed to do anything about despite burning buildings–demanded that the police be defunded.
Some cities listened. Others didn’t.
Regardless, crime began to soar. In particular, homicides started skyrocketing.
Now, what does the public think? Well, it sure isn’t that we should defund the police.
Americans’ views on police spending have shifted since the civil rights protests of summer 2020, with a new report finding that people across political and racial groups increasingly support more spending on local police forces.
At the height of protests against police brutality last year, the Pew Research Center reported that less than half of Americans (42%) believed that funding for police should stay at current levels. Fourteen percent said their budgets should be decreased a little and 12% believed they should be cut by a lot. On the opposite side, 20% said funding should increase by a little and 11% thought funding should go up by a lot.
Just over a year later, this trend has reversed, with a smaller share of Americans saying funding should stay the same (37%), decrease by a little (9%) or decrease by a lot (6%), according to the latest Pew report. A growing number of respondents have taken the position that police funding should be boosted by a little (26%) or increased a lot (21%), with the latter group up double from the previous year.
Researchers see this significant change in attitudes toward police spending as a sign of Americans’ concern over violent crime. Pew reports that as of July 2021, 61% of U.S. adults believe that violent crime is a very big problem, outranking worries over the federal budget deficit, climate change, racism, economic inequality and illegal immigration.
My how things have changed, huh?
The fact that so many Americans see violent crime as such a serious issue is a rare case of people being dialed into what’s really happening. The media is reporting these homicides–it’s kind of hard for them to spin it, after all–and people can see what’s taking place.
Where things are going to get interesting is in how Americans want to deal with it.
Yes, increased police funding is at least one part of it, but we both know that the media will continue pushing the gun control narrative as the answer to this issue. Never mind that the vast majority of these guns were obtained illegally. Nah, that simply doesn’t matter.
Still, for now, this poll tells us that any clout the “defund the police” movement had is well and truly gone. While some on the extreme left will likely still push for that, there’s no real will on the part of the American public to do so, meaning it’s just not happening.
Meanwhile, though, we have to weather the storm that the criminal justice reform types created and hope everyone we care about makes it to the other side with the same number of holes in their bodies they had before everything went to crap.