Sixty percent of young voters said they trusted their local police department, while only 24 percent said they didn’t. A further 16 percent were unsure.
The question was asked as part of a first-of-its-kind Rare poll that surveyed only respondents under 40. The questions were tailored to chart trends in the opinions of younger voters.
Surprisingly, a plurality of African Americans were OK with their local police—46 percent said they trusted the cops while 38 percent did not. Hispanics were also trustful of their police departments, with 60 percent saying they favored the police.
This challenges the consensus that emerged after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Police confronted protesters with militarized weapons in the week after Brown’s death, triggering a national outcry over law enforcement overreach.
Many said that African Americans were frequent victims of police abuse, among them Sen. Rand Paul. “It is impossible for African Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them,” Paul said.
The data also reveals a class division. While only 24 percent of those with a graduate degree don’t trust the police, 48 percent of those with less than a high school degree find the cops untrustworthy. The poor are less likely to finish high school than the middle class and well off.
The Rare survey was conducted by nonpartisan Gravis Marketing between August 11 and August 18. A total of 556 respondents under age 40 were interviewed over the phone and using Internet panels. Overall, the poll has a margin of error of 5 percent.