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Poll: 66% Of Marylanders View Police Favorably, But Most Want Some Reform

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- In a new Goucher College poll, most Marylanders say they want to see some type of police reform even though most are favorable toward police.

This new Goucher Poll asked Maryland residents about their thoughts on police, police reform and the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to the poll, 87 percent support creating a public record of police misconduct cases in Maryland and around the country. Ten percent oppose that.

Eighty five percent support requiring police officers to undergo racial bias training; 17 percent oppose. Seventy nine percent support creating statewide de-escalation and use-of-force policies for all Maryland police departments to follow; 16 percent oppose.

Seventy nine percent support funding for police to hire more or better trained officers, but 19 percent opposed that.

Sixty percent support banning chokeholds or strangleholds when making an arrest, but 35 percent opposed this.

Fifty four percent support reducing the budget for the police department and shifting the funds to social programs related to mental health, housing and education. Forty three percent oppose this.

However only 28 percent support the "defund the police" movement, while 68 percent of Marylanders polled oppose this.

"Maryland residents are largely supportive of key police reforms that are currently being discussed by state
lawmakers and have dominated our national discourse. Some of these proposals, like creating statewide use-offorce policies and requiring police officers to undergo racial bias training, earn support from majorities of
Democrats and Republicans," said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at
Goucher College. "But there's a mixed message on police budgets. Residents support both increasing funding
to hire more or better trained police offers and reducing police budgets to allocate more money to social


Residents were also asked whether they held a favorable view of the police and/or the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sixty six percent view the police favorably and 30 percent unfavorably. Among Black Marylanders, 54 percent were favorable toward police, 41 percent see police unfavorably. Among white Marylanders, 73 percent see police favorably, 24 percent see police unfavorably.

Sixty five percent view the Black Lives Matter movement favorably and 29 percent saw it unfavorably. Among Black Marylanders, 85 percent saw the BLM movement favorably and 11 percent see it unfavorably. Among white Marylanders, 56 percent view the BLM movement favorably and 38 percent see it unfavorably.

This survey was conducted between Sept. 30, 2020 and Oct. 4, 2020. Goucher College surveyed 1,002 Maryland adults and say there is a 95% probability that the survey is plus or minus 3.1 percentage point sampling error for the actual population distribution.

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