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Majority of Americans support use of National Guard to end protests: poll

U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers with the South Carolina National Guard conduct training in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina to prepare to assist law enforcement agencies for protest and unrest assistance in the state, June 1, 2020. South Carolina National Guard Soldiers will provide assistance as security augmentation with local law enforcement in maintaining citizen safety and peace at protests throughout the state. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Adam Raynor, South Carolina National Guard)
June 05, 2020

The majority of Americans support the use of using the National Guard to supplement the police in ending the extreme protests that have swept the nation the past two weeks, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by Morning Consult, showed that 71 percent of the voters it surveyed, which included Democrats and Republicans, support the use of the National Guard to address the “protests and demonstrations” in American cities. Despite the violent nature of many of the demonstrations, which have led to injuries and deaths, the poll did not use the word “riot.”

The survey asked voters if they supported “Calling in the national guard to supplement city police forces” in response to the “protests and demonstrations in dozens of U.S. cities in response to the death of George Floyd?”

George Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer pressured his knee against Floyd’s neck while attempting to restrain and detain Floyd, who was found to have had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system when he died, according to his toxicology report. That report also showed while Floyd showed signs of some blunt force in his head, it noted that no life-threatening injuries were identified in him.

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Of the 1,624 American voters surveyed, 42 percent said they “strongly support” the use of the National Guard, while 29 percent said they “somewhat support” the idea. The survey found seven percent “somewhat oppose” it, while 11 percent said they “strongly oppose” the use of the National Guard.

Moreover, 58 percent of voters in the survey said they supported “calling in the U.S. military to supplement city police force” while 30 percent said they were opposed to the idea.

While the majority of voters support the use of the National Guard or the military to qualm the protests, the majority of respondents, 57 percent, also said they support George Floyd-related demonstrations; 23 percent said they oppose the demonstrations.

The poll was conducted online between May 31 and June 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. It surveyed 1,624 registered voters and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region, according to Morning Consult.