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New, Bipartisan Polling Finds “Supermajority of Americans Want to See Wide-Ranging Reforms to the Criminal Justice System”

As usual, Virginia Republicans are WILDLY out of step with voters on the issues.

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As the Virginia General Assembly debates criminal justice and policing reforms – including this morning’s meeting of the Virginia State Crime Commission – Virginia Republicans are busy fearmongering and demagogue-ing about this important issue. The only problem for Republicans, other than being wrong, is that voters don’t agree with them. In fact, according to this new polling – by a bipartisan combo of “Beacon Research, a Democratic firm, Shaw & Company, a Republican firm” – “a supermajority of Americans want to see wide-ranging reforms to the criminal justice system.” You can see the highlights, below, including three-quarters or more of voters supporting:

  • “If a police officer sees another officer using force inappropriately, should the first officer have a duty to intervene and attempt to stop the second officer?” (94% support)
  • “Requiring all police officers to have and use body cameras in all interactions with civilians” (91% support)
  • “Requiring the Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation when police action has caused a death or serious injury” (88% support)
  • “Creating a public database on officer misconduct” (82% support)
  • “Do you believe citizens and their families should be able to hold police officers responsible in civil court if the officer violates their Constitutional rights, or not?” (81% support)
  • “Banning no-knock warrants” (76% support)
  • “If, after an investigation, a police officer is found to have used excessive force, should that officer be fired, or not?” (75% support)
  • “Giving civilian oversight boards, comprised of citizens from the community, the power to investigate police officers accused of inappropriate use of force” (70% support)
  • “Providing incentives for police departments to hire officers with college degrees ” (74% support)

Also note that support for these highly popular policies is, not surprisingly, a net-plus politically. In short, these are both the right thing to do from a policy perspective AND helpful politically. Which makes it even more bizarre that Virginia Republicans have decided to not just work to block these reforms, but to fearmonger and demagogue about them.