2020 Menino Survey of Mayors: Policing and Protests

2020 Menino Survey of Mayors: Policing and Protests

Nearly seven in ten (69 percent) mayors believe that protests against police violence and racial injustice during the summer of 2020 were drivers of positive change in their cities, a report from the Initiative on Cities at Boston University finds. Funded by Citi Community Development and the Rockefeller Foundation and based on responses from a hundred and thirty mayors of cities with at least 750,000 residents, the 2020 Menino Survey of Mayors: Policing and Protests (13 pages, PDF) found that 44 percent of respondents "disagreed" and 25 percent "strongly disagreed" with the statement that "street protests against police violence in 2020 did more harm than good in my city," while 32 percent said that they had themselves participated in the protests. The survey also found that 68 percent of all respondents said there are disparities in the way Black people are policed — although 73 percent of Republicans (and 14 percent of Democrats) disagreed with that statement; that 34 percent of respondents said their city's Black resident trust the police, compared with 44 percent who said they did not; and that 38 percent of respondents said police violence was not a problem in their city. Of those who acknowledged that police violence was an issue, just over half agreed that a lack of racial diversity in the police force or racism was a contributing factor "at all," with smaller shares seeing qualified immunity, police unions shielding offers from disciplinary actions, police and civilian leadership, and access to military-style equipment as factors.

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