Trust in police falls below 50% for first time in annual Gallup poll; military maintains high level of support among Americans -


Summary generated on August 14, 2020

    Late artist Norman Rockwell's evocation of the friendly, helpful neighborhood police officer defined law enforcement for millions of Americans when they were growing up.

    That image no longer holds sway among a majority of people in the U.S., concludes a new Gallup poll.

    The fall, from 53% last year, comes amid nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism, sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody.

    Four Minneapolis officers were fired and now face charges in the death.

    Over the nearly three decades the poll has asked about the police, the highest level of confidence in law enforcement has been 64%.As with most subjects in this hyper-partisan era, Republicans and Democrats see the police very differently.

    Eighty-two percent of Republicans have confidence in law enforcement, an increase of seven percentage points from last year, Gallup found.

    Only 28% of Democrats feel the same way, down six points.

    While fewer Americans overall hold the police in high regard, the poll showed that other U.S. institutions saw a surge in trust in 2020.

    These include organized religion, up six percentage points to 42%, and even banks, which jumped 8 points to 38%, bringing them almost back to the level of confidence they enjoyed before the 2008-09 financial crisis.

    Americans have the most confidence in small business and the military, according to the survey.