A majority of the police officers working in the United States believe that bad cops, specifically those responsible for the senseless killings of African American citizens, have made it more difficult for them to do their jobs, according to the latest national poll.
The Pew Research Center in conjunction with the National Police Research Platform published a new report on Tuesday that finds 72 percent of law enforcement officers do not believe that crooked cops are being held accountable for the weight of their despicable actions.
Not even 25 percent agreed that officers found guilty of wrongdoing were being forced to answer to their transgressions.
In the survey, nearly 8,000 officers were asked to give their opinions on high profile cases in which an average citizen was murdered at the hands of police. While most of the respondents agreed there are problems with officer accountability, the report also finds that most cops believe the public does not understand the dangers of associated with their job.
“Only 14% say the public understands these risks very or somewhat well, while 86% say the public doesn’t understand them too well or at all,” the report reads.
One of the primary takeaways from the report is the strong divide between black and white officers.
The report finds that around 70 percent of black cops believe the protests that manifest after a fatal encounter with police are in the genuine interest of holding cops accountable for their actions. However, fewer than 30 percent of white officers hold the same opinion – the others believe theses types of demonstrations are rooted in anti-police bias.
Interestingly, the report finds that most police “feel respected” and have very little reason to distrust the people living in the communities they serve, but 70 percent still consider their beat to be a “hostile” environment. What’s more is 56 percent are of the opinion that “an aggressive rather than courteous approach is more effective” in certain areas. Another 44 percent said that getting physical is the best approach for getting a citizen to listen to reason.
Overall, the majority of police say that high-profile cases have made their jobs harder. It is for that reason that 86 percent said that officers are now more hesitant to harass a person on the street who may “look or act suspicious.”
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