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39% of black Americans not confident they would be treated with courtesy compared to just 9% whites

A new poll suggests 39% of black Americans are not confident that they would be treated with respect in an encounter by police. 

The figure compares to just 9% of white people who share the view that they would not be treated favorably during an encounter with law enforcement.  

It’s not clear whether the black American’s negative views expressed in the poll are as a result of their own bad experiences or from hearing the experiences of others many of which have been heavily documented in recent years.

Out of the group of black Americans who are ‘not at all confident’ that the police would treat them with courtesy and respect, 59% want them to spend less time in their neighborhood.  

But, the survey also revealed that majority of all other black Americans want the police to spend the same amount of time in the areas where they live including those who are ‘not too confident’ about being treated considerately by police.        

The findings come in a poll by Gallup which also found that 61% want the police presence in their neighborhoods to remain the same despite calls to defund and reform policing across the country. 

The majority of black Americans want to retain their local police force and for officers to spend the same amount of time in their neighborhoods as they currently do. 

The poll suggests that roughly equal proportions of black Americans would also like the police to spend more time in their area (20%) as those who would like them to spend less time there (19%).  

The figures are relatively similar to those in other demographics with 71% of white Americans and 67% of all U.S. adults wanting to retain the status quo, including 71% of white Americans.  

A previous survey conducted in July found that 90% of black citizens would like to see reforms take place including improving police relations with the communities they serve, along with the prevention of abusive behavior and the punishment of those in police departments who perpetrate abuse. 

Out of four racial/ethnic groups of white, Asian American, Hispanic and black Americans, Asian Americans were revealed to be most likely to want less police presence where they live, with 28% indicating this, compared to 12% of white people, 17% of Hispanics and 19% of blacks.

One question in the survey asked Americans to estimate how often police were in their neighborhood. 

Black Americans’ reported seeing police more often than the national average at 32%. The number was lower for white Americans and Asian Americans with 22% and 21% respectively. 

Hispanics also report seeing a similar amount of police in the areas where they live to that of black Americans with 28% seeing police in their neighborhoods.  

The poll also found 41% of black Americans say they sometimes see police in their area which corresponds to the national average. A further 27% say they never or rarely see them.

Despite reporting seeing police with greater frequency than other demographics the poll also found that black Americans do not with to see changes to their local police force. 

A third say they would like to see cops spend less time close to their homes although most adults, 56%, believe police should spend the same amount of time, with 10% wanting more police presence.     

While the poll suggests that black Americans are comfortable with the number of officers on patrol where they live, there have vastly different opinions on what kind of treatment they believe they would receive should they face an encounter with law enforcement.    

In the poll, fewer than one in five black Americans felt confident the police in their area would treat them with courtesy and respect. 

A similar number of Asian Americans (24%) said the same. Hispanic Americans are far more optimistic with 40% believing the experience would be polite, while 56% of white people felt the same.  

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