When it comes to covering law enforcement issues, the American media should, in the words of fictional TV detective Joe Friday, stick to “just the facts, ma’am.” A new poll shows that the American public now believes a series of verifiable untruths propagated by some members of the media and activists.
The findings of the May 2021 TIPP Poll survey of 1300 American adults should dismay us all as to how misinformed about policing the public has become.
Gauging what the public “knows” to be true, TIPP Poll asked respondents about some basic provable statements.
When posed the question, "of all police-citizen encounters, how often do police use any type of force on a suspect?” While 24% responded “not sure,” another 24% thought it was 20% of the time or more and another 22% believed cops use force 10% of the time. Liberal respondents were most convinced that police use force frequently with 64% believing one out of ten or more police encounters ends in police using force. The truth is that law enforcement resorts to force in one out of 50 encounters – or 2% according to both the Department of Justice and peer-reviewed studies.