A recent poll of commercial truck drivers indicates nearly eight in 10 drivers would refuse to drive shipments to cities that have either defunded or disbanded their police departments.
The commercial trucking industry publication CDL Life News conducted the poll through its internal app. The poll results indicated 79 percent of respondents said they refuse to drive shipments to cities with defunded police.
The publication reported its poll was based on answers from 1,283 respondents. Those respondents were asked “Would you pick up/deliver to cities with defunded or disbanded police departments? Why or why not?”
The poll results come amid widespread support for defunding or reforming police agencies.
Protests have formed against police agencies across the country after a black man, George Floyd, was killed while in Minneapolis police custody. On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to conduct a year-long study of ways to replace the city’s police department.
Other major cities have also seen calls to defund their police. Chirlane McCray, wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, recently described a New York City without police would be a “utopia” but said such an outcome would be unlikely to happen.
The large majority of truckers polled through the publication did not seem to share those views of police.
When asked to explain their views, one respondent wrote their concern would be “if something was to happen and you have to take matters into your own hands, and then you risk being prosecuted for protecting yourself.”
“This is not an area you need to act fearless and think you’d look like a fool for saying no…Imagine what kind of fool you look like for driving into a hot spot and putting your life in danger,” another respondent wrote.
The publication noted those concerns about personal safety come from members of an industry consistently ranked with one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.
“In 2018, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported truck driving as the most deadly job in the country,” the publication noted.
A commercial truck driver has already been caught up in a dangerous incident stemming from the protests over Floyd’s death. Bogdan Vechirko, a 35-year-old trucker, nearly ran over protesters blocking I-35 into Minneapolis. Vechirko appeared to break to avoid hitting protesters before he was pulled from the cabin of his truck and attacked. He was later arrested by police, but released without charges.
Another poll respondent said “For my own safety and security of my customers’ loads, I have already informed my dispatcher that I will refuse all loads to cities that have defunded their police departments.”