Despite the social and political division over the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, recent polls show most Americans want to hold police accountable when they kill unarmed citizens.
When it comes to the behavior of cops, according to a Washington Post poll, Americans hold “an almost-unheard-of amount of consensus.”
They want independent prosecutors who are not politically linked to city government and police departments.
“What’s a little more surprising, though, is the consensus on another issue related to the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases: independent prosecutors,” reports the Post. “The poll shows about the same percentage — 87 percent — support having these outsiders handle cases in which unarmed Americans are killed by police.”
Additionally, 86 percent of those polled “support requiring patrol officers in their areas to wear small video cameras while on duty — a finding in line with other polling on this subject.”
The issue of police accountability in the wake of Ferguson and Staten Island is so politically divisive the federal government has stepped in.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration convened a task force on community policing. The administration is proposing “a three-year $263 million investment package that will increase use of body-worn cameras” and adding “more resources for police department reform.”
Public and political consensus, however, may not result in substantial change, as the Post notes.
“As we often caution, though, it’s best not to hold one’s breath.”