Nearly one-quarter of Newark’s residents (23%) believe there has been no progress at all on police reform at all despite more than a year of national debate over the Black Lives Matter movement, according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released on Tuesday.
One-third of Brick City residents (33%) said “a little” progress has been made, while 27% acknowledge some progress, 7% say a lot, and 5% said there has been “a great deal” of progress on police reforms. These views are shared almost identically by Newarkers of all races.
“The BLM protests were a moment of real anger, but also real hope that change was possible,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of Government and Politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the poll director. “Even in a city with leadership that’s friendly to police reforms, few people think that a lot of progress has been made.”
A majority of Newark residents (64%) think that disruptive or violent protests have not been effective, but 31% believe they have been helpful.
Four-in-ten (40%) Newarkers say peaceful protests are very effective and another 38% say that are somewhat effective.
“The history of violent protests in the 60s continues to shape the views of Newark residents,” said Cassino. “More than 50 years later, Newark residents still reject violence as a way of making political change.”
Most Newark residents (69%) say that boycotts are either a very effective or somewhat effective tool to make their points.
Voting, social media pots, contacting elected officials, and online petitions are also viewed as effective tools in advancing race relations, the FDU poll says.
Most Brick City residents do not view police reform optimistically for year two either, with 19% of residents say express no progress at all and 31% believing there will be a little advancement. But 29% think there will be some progress, 8% think there will be a lot, and 7% say a great deal.
An earlier portion of data from the FDU poll have Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s favorables of 60% in his hometown as he prepares to seek re-election to a third term in 2022.
The FDU poll was conducted between July 9 and August 11. It has a sample size of 1,100 Newark residents and a margin of error of +/- 3%.