Three-quarters of Americans overall said they agree with the guilty jury verdict found for each of the three charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd. But among Republican voters, about half said the outcome was the “wrong verdict,” according to a new survey.
About 9 in 10 Democrats surveyed said Chauvin’s conviction on all three counts—second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter—was the “right” decision. The 75 percent of independent voters who agreed it was the right verdict directly corresponded to the overall response from Americans. Eighty-two percent of people who identify as political moderates said they agree the guilty verdict was the right decision.
But among Republican Party voters, 46 percent said it was the “wrong verdict,” about five times the amount of disagreeing Democrats.
Two-thirds of Republicans in a Morning Consult national tracking poll released last week actually flipped the view of the perpetrator or victim roles entirely. Sixty-six percent of GOP voters said “violence against the police” is a more serious issue.
The 25 percent of overall Americans in the CBS News/YouGov poll who said they disagree with the Chauvin verdict also overwhelmingly responded that they “strongly” disagree with any ideas tied to Black Lives Matter (BLM). This one-quarter of Chauvin verdict dissenters disproportionately self-identified as white, conservative and male.
About half of respondents overall, 48 percent, said they agree with the BLM movement’s ideas.
President Joe Biden‘s current approval rating of about 60 percent is almost identical to the percentage of Americans who said they approved of his general responses and handling of George Floyd’s death and Chauvin’s trial.
Among white Americans, 70 percent responded that the three guilty convictions were the “right verdict,” compared to 30 percent who said that was the “wrong verdict.”
Sunday’s CBS News/YouGov pol also found that 39 percent of white Americans rate the job of their local police department as “very good,” compared to 17 percent of Black Americans. Similar shares of white and Black Americans said their local officers are doing a “somewhat good job,” with a heavier majority of Black respondents agreeing with that statement. Thirty percent of Black adults said their local police force is doing a “somewhat or very bad” job, compared to 18 percent of white people who said the same.
Newsweek reached out to representatives for Chauvin’s legal defense counsel Sunday afternoon.