A majority of American adults (57%) believe the anger of the George Floyd rioters is fully justified, while another 21% say it is partially justified, according to the latest Monmouth University poll.
Just 18% say there is no justification for the anger over the death of an unarmed black man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on the man's neck for minutes.
Where they diverge, however, is the justifying of riot violence.
According to the poll:
- 38% say the actions of rioters are not at all justified.
- 37% say the rioters are partially justified.
- Only 17% say they are fully justified.
The public opinion on racial and ethnic discrimination to be a big problem has increased during the Trump administration to 75%, whereas only one-third felt the same way just four years ago (July 2016) during the Obama administration.
"It seems we have reached a turning point in public opinion where white Americans are realizing that black Americans face risks when dealing with police that they do not," Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray wrote in a statement.
"They may not agree with the violence of recent protests, but many whites say they understand where that anger is coming from."
Here are the poll demographics of those who believe black Americans are more likely than whites to experience excessive force:
- 87% black Americans agree, up from 77%.
- 63% of Latino, Asian, and other minority backgrounds agree, up from 39%.
- 49% white Americans agree, up from 25%.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted May 28-June 1, 2020 among 807 American adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
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