I tweeted this a few minutes ago:
If there’s anything to make me a little hopeful about the protests, it’s the fact that police are widely seen as responsible for much of the violence, and not just on the fringe left. This does not normally happen in real time.
— Kevin Drum (@kdrum) June 2, 2020
I got some pushback, but I’ve read and seen plenty of examples of this growing recognition on cable news and mainstream newspapers. You won’t hear it on Fox News or right-wing talk radio, of course, but it’s definitely gotten a foothold in the mainstream news. Much of this, I think, is due to the extensive availability of smartphone video, which is making the police response to the protests available in a way that wasn’t possible even ten years ago.
However, even if the media is starting to cover this more widely, is it becoming a mainstream view among the public? Here’s the first poll I’ve seen on the subject. The question is not specifically about police actions at the protests, but the poll was done over the weekend when protests were all over the news:
In this day and age, I’d say it’s striking that even 31 percent of Republicans think police violence is a bigger problem than public violence. And among the all-important independents, a solid majority feels this way.
Other polls will weigh in over the next week, which should give us a better view of what people think about the police response to the protests. This will, obviously, depend a lot on how things go over the coming week as well as media coverage of the protests. We’ll see.