74% of Americans believe George Floyd's death shows an underlying racial injustice problem, reveals poll
A new ABC News/Ipsos poll has claimed that nearly 74 percent of Americans view the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer as a sign of an underlying racial injustice problem, saying it is a major shift from a similar question posed six years ago.
According to ABC, the poll reflects a more than a 30-point increase in the belief that recent events are indicative of a larger issue of racial injustice as compared to an ABC News/Washington Post poll from December 2014, which came four months after the shooting of 18-year-old old Michael Brown and five months after the death of Eric Garner, who reportedly died after being put in a chokehold by a white police officer.
The outlet claimed that 43% of Americans in the 2014 poll felt those instances showed signs of a broader problem, but 51% thought it was an isolated incident.
However, only 26% believe that the George Floyd incident is an isolated one according to the latest ABC News/Ipsos poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos’ Knowledge Panel.
Furthermore, the poll claims there is a rare show of uniformity across race and party about the treatment of black Americans by law enforcement.
"Majorities of whites (70%), blacks (94%), Hispanics (75%), Democrats (92%), Republicans (55%) and independents (71%) agree that what happened to Floyd exemplifies a systemic rift between law enforcement and black communities in the country," ABC reports.
However, it wasn't "always that way." 60% of whites in the 2014 poll thought the incidents in Ferguson and New York City were isolated, according to the outlet, as compared to 75% of blacks and 51% of Hispanics who agreed it was indicative of a larger problem.
The ABC/Ipsos poll comes amid a tumultuous week, from repeated clashes between law enforcement and protesters, to the arrest and charging of all four officers who were at the scene of Floyd's death, to the nationally-televised memorial service for Floyd on Thursday that brought together civil rights activists, politicians, and families of victims of police brutality.
The death of George Floyd has set off a string of emotions that have taken the form of a massive movement across the United States, as well as other parts of the world. As much as people raised a cry over another senseless killing of an unarmed black man, they were equally outraged by the manner in which he was killed.
In the presently viral video taken by a passerby on May 25, 46-year-old Floyd could be seen lying on streets with handcuffs on during his arrest as a Minneapolis cop, Derek Chauvin, used his knee to kneel on his neck, almost crushing his head on the pavement underneath. “I can’t breathe,” Floyd says repeatedly in the footage. “Please. Please. Please. I can’t breathe. Please, man.” Bystanders also urge the officer to get off Floyd's neck but he refuses to listen. He keeps pressing on the spot for nearly nine minutes till Floyd loses unconsciousness and ultimately dies.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and third-degree manslaughter in his death. Recently, three other officers involved in the arrest — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and JA Kueng — were charged with aiding and abetting murder following nationwide outrage that they should be brought to justice as well. If convicted, all four officers face 40-year terms in prison.