By Eli Yokley
February 1, 2023 at 6:00 am ET
Voters are slightly more likely to say they think law enforcement violence against the public is a serious problem now, after Tyre Nichols’ death in Memphis, than they were after the police murder of George Floyd in 2020, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey.
Following Floyd’s murder in 2020, the Democratic-controlled House passed legislation dubbed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in 2021 to rein in the use of excessive force by police officers, but the measure failed in the narrowly divided Senate.
Calls for such legislation have re-emerged following Nichols’ death. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a key holdout in the last police reform debate, floated a proposal to break 2021’s impasse, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has called on Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to revive talks.
This time around, proponents will also have to grapple with a Republican-controlled House. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) suggested on NBC’s “Meet The Press” over the weekend that there’s no “law that can stop that evil that we saw” in Memphis and that the issue may be best handled at the state level, though he did offer the idea of federal financial incentives as an alternative to sweeping national policy.
When it comes to lawmakers’ voters, the public’s concerns about police violence are generally joined by a widespread belief that there’s a specific problem against Black people — though the issue is divisive politically.
The latest Morning Consult/Politico survey was conducted Jan. 27-29, 2023, among a representative sample of 1,977 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Eli Yokley is a senior data reporter at Morning Consult covering politics and campaigns. @eyokley