A fourth of Utahns respect police less after two dozen Los Angeles police officers were videotaped participating in or watching the beating of a man, but two-thirds of Utahns still respect and admire police officers, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
A firestorm of protest descended on Los Angeles police after the videotape was shown on television news programs throughout the nation. Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley eventually asked Police Chief Darrell Gates to resign. Gates refused, was placed on administrative leave by the police commission and has since successfully fought that action in court.Pollster Dan Jones & Associates found in a just-completed poll that 25 percent of Utahns have a lower opinion of police because of the Los Angeles incident.
Sixty-nine percent said their opinions of police remained unchanged and 2 percent said their opinion improved after watching the beating on TV.
percent said police are necessary, but sometimes are inconsiderate or pushy; and 4 percent said police are necessary but often order one around or use unnecessary force on innocent people.
To get a feel for how people reacted to their latest personal contact with local police, Jones asked those who have had dealings with police in the past two years to categorize that experience.
Jones specifically queried those polled about possible misuse of authority, asking three questions. Of the 308 people who said they have had personal contact with police in the past two years, 77 percent said police were not rude or verbally abusive with them; 67 percent said police were courteous and helpful; and 89 percent said police were not physically forceful.
However, 5 percent said the police were rude and verbally abusive; 6 percent said the officer wasn't courteous or helpful; and 3 percent said the officer was physically forceful, Jones found.
Deseret News/KSL-TV poll
Much has been made of a beating of a man by the Los Angeles police. At issue is how much force police should use in arresting a person and how police are perceived. In your opinion, do police in your community use too much force, appropriate force or are they too easy on arrested persons?
Use too much force 10%
Use appropriate force 67%
Too easy 7%
Don't know 17%
Which of the following statements best describes how you feel about police in your community:
I respect them and appreciate them 65%
They are necessary, but sometimes inconsiderate and pushy 28%
They are necessary, but often orde you around or use unnecessary force on innocent people 4%
Don't know 3%