A survey published Friday showed 31 percent of residents want Police Chief Daryl Gates to resign immediately over the videotaped beating of a black suspect, a substantial change in sentiment from two weeks ago when only 13 percent agreed.
The Los Angeles Times Poll indicated Gates' support among the public was quickly eroding as the controversy over the beating of an unarmed man continues to boil.A similar poll taken two weeks ago showed only 13 percent of those questioned wanted Gates to resign immediately and only 27 percent said he should resign if investigations proved his officers guilty of wrongdoing.
Two weeks ago, 48 percent of the respondents said Gates should hang onto his job. Friday's survey showed only 32 percent believe he should stay.
The poll indicated a belief among those questioned that racism and brutality are widespread within the Police Department and that Gates' departure might not solve the problem.
Two-thirds of the respondents said incidents of police brutality are frequent and racist feelings are common among police officers, the Times said.
When questioned whether they believed Gates himself was a racist, 36 percent said yes, while 39 percent said no and 25 percent were not sure.
Some 60 percent of those surveyed said Gates bears most of the blame for the March 3 beating of Rodney King, 25.
The survey showed Mayor Tom Bradley's popularity has dipped only slightly sinced the incident.
Gates has repeatedly said he would not resign under fire.