Amherst, MA – University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst released a new national poll on Thursday that showed that support for Black Lives Matter and police reforms have dropped significantly.
UMass surveyed 1,000 people in April and compared the results to a poll it conducted in April of 2021.
The latest poll showed that support for the Black Lives Matter movement has declined since last year, falling from 48 percent to 41 percent.
Support for movement’s strategies and tactics dropped from 40 percent to 31 percent, according to UMass.
Opposition to the movement increased only marginally – about three percent for each question, but that increase was matched or beaten by respondents who said they were undecided about Black Lives Matter.
The poll found a combined seven-point increase among undecided respondents when they were asked about the group’s strategies and tactics and a three-point increase on the question about Black Lives Matter’s goals, the UMass survey revealed.
“While Black Lives Matter signs still adorn lawns from coast to coast, Americans may be growing tired of the Black Lives Matter movement as support for the strategies, tactics and goals of the movement have experienced a precipitous decline in the past year across demographic and political groups,” UMass Amherst Associate Professor of Political Science Tatishe Nteta explained.
Nteta pointed out that biggest drops in support for Black Lives Matter came from black respondents to the survey.
“In fact, some of the steepest declines in support for the movement were found among African Americans, who reported a nine-percentage point drop in the movement’s goals since last April (from 67 percent to 56 percent) and a 16 percentage point decrease in support for the movement’s strategies and tactics (from 65 percent to 49 percent),” she said.
Support for police reforms has also dropped nationwide since April of last year, according to the UMass survey.
Respondents who supported reducing funding for state and local police departments and redirecting the money to social services dropped seven points, from 38 percent to 31 percent.
Support for banning the use of military grade equipment and weaponry by state and local police dropped from 48 percent in 2021 to 42 percent this year, according to the UMass survey.
The survey showed that support for letting citizens sue individual police officers accused of excessive force or misconduct fell from 59 percent to 54 percent.
Support for banning police from deactivating their body cameras dropped from 71 percent to 64 percent and interestingly, support for banning chokeholds by police officers shrunk from 62 percent to 58 percent, the UMass survey revealed.
Opposition to police reforms increased only marginally and in some cases decreased.
“As incidents of violent crime have increased in the past year and with President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party calling for the use of unused stimulus funds to be directed to police departments across the country, it is no surprise that the public’s one-time enthusiasm for policies designed to bring about wholescale changes to the nation’s police departments has waned in the past year,” Nteta explained.
“What is somewhat surprising is that this decline is seen across the board, with ardent supporters of police reforms such as progressives, Democrats, African Americans and young Americans also exhibiting a decrease in their support for these changes,” she continued.
“The movement for police reform may have experienced its zenith of support in the United States,” the professor added.
The UMass survey results were released amidst a tsunami of questions about “mistakes” made by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who has referred to the $90 million in donations the group received in the wake of George Floyd’s death in the custody of the Minneapolis police as “white guilt money.”