Justice and Due Process

Poll: Utahns Overwhelmingly Support Police Reform

Earlier this month, Libertas Institute commissioned a poll of Utah voters on various policing issues. The statistical survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling, involved 1,140 voter responses over landline and cell phone, with a 2.9% margin of error. 

The questions asked voters to respond to a number of statements and express whether they agree or disagree. Here are the results:

  1. Police should not be able to use no-knock warrants, which allow police to forcibly enter a person’s home, unless there is an imminent threat to someone’s life.

  1. Police officers who have been proven to use excessive force against an individual should be subject to mandatory suspension or termination of their police certification.

  1. Police officers who witness another officer’s misconduct or excessive force should be required to file a report about that officer.

  1. People of color are disproportionately negatively affected by the criminal justice system in Utah.

  1. More police agencies should utilize independent civilian review boards to investigate complaints against officers.

  1. Police officers should be required to wear a body camera and be prohibited from turning it off in situations where force might be used, or has been used, against another person.

  1. A police officer who disables or fails to turn on their body camera should be disciplined.

  1. Instead of having police officers present on K-12 school campuses to deal with discipline issues and petty offenses, schools should instead call local law enforcement as needed to deal with actual crime.

Some additional observations:

  • When it comes to requiring body cameras, reporting misconduct, and consequences for the excessive use of force, even Republicans, white voters, and seniors all agree.
  • Even a majority of those who strongly disagree with the idea that the criminal justice system disproportionately affects people of color agree that no-knock warrants shouldn’t be used, use of excessive force should be punished, misconduct should be reported by other officers, body cameras should be a requirement and discipline carried out if they are disabled.
  • As for law enforcement on school campuses, voters who are more likely to have children on those campuses (ages 30-65) disagree more often with the idea of removing law enforcement then do those who are less likely to have children on school campuses (18-29, 65+).
  • Even a majority of Republicans generally agree that no-knock warrants should be banned, civilian review boards utilized, and that there should be consequences for not activating a body camera.

See here for the official results from Public Policy Polling.