After months of protests, it should come as no surprise to learn relations between people of color and police have worsened. In September, PPIC Statewide Survey probed Californians about their sentiments toward police by asking, “Do residents think all racial and ethnic groups are treated fairly?” Approximately one-fourth of adults said “always,” while 29% said “most of the time,” which is down from 30% and 31%, respectively, when queried in February.
Opinions among ethnic groups showed greater declines. The number of African Americans who thought police treat racial groups fairly fell from 31% last winter to 19% by fall; Asian Americans dropped 22%. The differences among Latinos and whites each slipped by 5%.
Political divisions appeared, too. Positive attitudes toward cops remained steady with Republican and independent voters but dropped by nearly 20 points among Democrats. Certain regions expressed less dissatisfaction with policing than others. While the Inland Empire — San Bernardino County and Riverside County — reported no change, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego County and the Central Valley all had minimal shifts. The city of San Francisco voiced the biggest change of attitude, down by 16 points.
Nationally, though, nearly all demographic and political groups agree race relations are worse today than when surveyed in January 2019.