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Poll: Nearly 60% in U.S. feel 'major' police reforms needed

Poll: Nearly 60% in U.S. feel 'major' police reforms needed
Activists rally in Compton, Calif., last Saturday to honor Vanessa Guillen, Andres Guardado and other victims of police brutality, and call for changes to policing in the United States. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 22 (UPI) -- A Gallup survey Wednesday shows that most Americans feel U.S. law enforcement needs major changes, but few favor doing completely away with police departments.

According to the poll, 58% said policing needs "major" change, 36% said "minor" changes are needed and 6% said policing is fine the way it is.

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Calls for reform have intensified over the last several weeks after the controversial police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. His death spawned protests nationwide and around the world, which were then followed by changes in some municipalities.

About nine in 10 African Americans, 82% of Asian Americans, 63% of Latinos and 51% of Whites agreed that policing needs major changes.

Politically, 89% of Democrats, 60% of independents and 14% of Republicans agreed major change is needed.

Reforms that found broad support included good community relations (97%), changing practices to hold officers accountable (96%) and more reliance on community-based alternatives (82%).

A popular rallying cry among protesters recently has been to defund or abolishing police departments, but Wednesday's survey showed little support for that idea. Just 15% voiced support for abolishing police, including 22% of Black Americans, 20% of Hispanics and 12% of Whites.

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Gallup polled more than 36,400 U.S. adults for the survey, which has a margin of error of 1.4 points.

Protesters march for social justice

The Surrogate's Court building exterior remains vandalized while Occupy City Hall protests continue outside City Hall in New York City on June 30. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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