Voters Split on Trump’s Call for Nationwide Stop-and-Frisk

Black Lives Matter protestor. (Rob Kunzig/Morning Consult)

Voters are split over whether stop-and-frisk tactics should be used by police departments nationwide, according to a new Morning Consult poll.

Four out of 10 voters said the police policy should be used nationwide, while 36 percent said it should be halted nationwide, according to the national survey conducted from Sept. 22-24. About one-fourth of respondents (24 percent) said they do not know or have no opinion of the policy.

Under the policy, which Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump initially said should be used nationwide, police stop people they deem suspicious and search them. A federal judge ruled in 2013 that the policy, which was used by the New York City Police Department, unfairly targets black and Hispanic men.

The poll was conducted after the deadly shootings by police of black men in Tulsa, Okla., and Charlotte, N.C. It also showed that voters are split about whether police are more likely to use deadly force against black people.

Almost half of respondents (45 percent) said race does not affect whether police use deadly force, while 38 percent said police are more likely to use deadly force against a black person; 13 percent said they do not know or have no opinion. Only 4 percent said a white person is more likely to be subject to deadly force by police.

Not surprisingly, minority voters are more likely to see race-related motivations in police shootings.  Two-thirds of African American respondents and almost half of Hispanic voters (49 percent) said race is a factor in whether police officers use deadly force. By contrast, only one-third of white respondents said race is a factor.

Voters were asked if police departments should be compelled to release videos of officer-involved shootings without a court order. The electorate is split on that issue as well, with 41 percent expressing the view that the public has a right to see the videos and an equal percentage saying that releasing such videos creates public panic before all of the facts are uncovered.

Public pressure compelled the Charlotte Police Department to release footage of the deadly shooting there last week.

Asked about police using deadly force against black people, 44 percent of respondents said it is a major problem, while 23 percent said it is a minor problem. Nearly one-fifth of respondents (19 percent) said it is not a problem at all, while 14 percent said they do not know or have no opinion.

Voters were also asked about the Black Lives Matter movement.

The poll showed that 45 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of Black Lives Matter, an increase of 7 points from April, when 38 percent of voters said they had an unfavorable view of the movement, according to another Morning Consult poll.

Black Lives Matter favorability among voters has increased by only 1 point since the April poll, from 36 percent to 37 percent.

Almost half of voters (44 percent) said Black Lives Matter mostly advocates violence to make its point, while 34 percent said it is a mostly nonviolent civil rights campaign. About one-fifth of respondents (21 percent) said they do not know or have no opinion.

The poll was conducted online among a national sample of 1,953 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. See toplines and crosstabs.