Visions of nationwide and statewide unrest have not been scarce since the May killing of George Floyd during his Minneapolis arrest. It should not come as a surprise therefore, that following the blaring public cries for police force reformation, a new Gallup poll tracking public confidence in key United States institutions has displayed that confidence in police is at an all-time low.
With a five-point decline from last year, the 48 percent figure shows the first time in 27 years of the poll that results for the police category have been below a majority level. In the past, the percentage of polled individuals expressing they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the police has been as high as 64 percent.
As the Gallup poll indicated a decrease in confidence in the police force, it simultaneously showed a rise in confidence in institutions that have proved to drive success in the face of COVID-19. These institutions include the medical system as healthcare workers serve on the pandemic’s frontlines, and public schools where teachers have conquered the feat of virtual learning.
What is the state of police reform in Wisconsin?
On Juneteenth, Governor Evers revealed a package of police reform bills. The nine bills included:
- Prohibition of no-knock search warrants
- Prohibition of the use of chokeholds
- An escalated amount of training for police on use-of-force options and techniques to de-escalate situations
- Yearly data about and reporting on use of force incidents
However, these bills have yet to be passed. As Wisconsin legislation fails to progress, fast action has been taken in statewide school systems. Both Milwaukee and Madison schools have terminated their contracts with police. Private businesses have also taken independent action in ending contracts with police forces.
As the police reform platform continues being discussed and practices are yet to be refined, it is important to know that you maintain rights during any police confrontation.