Amid a jump in violent crime in this and other cities nationwide, Detroit residents report being much more worried about public safety than about potential police misconduct, a USA TODAY/Suffolk University/Detroit Free Press Poll finds.
By an overwhelming 9-1, they would feel safer with more cops on the street, not fewer. Though one-third complain that Detroit police use force when it isn't necessary – and Black men report high rates of racial profiling – those surveyed reject by 3-1 the slogan of some progressives to "defund the police," USA Today reports.
"It's scary sitting in the house, and when you go outside to the gas station or the store, it's possible someone will be shooting right next to you," said Charlita Bell, 41, a lifelong Detroit resident who was among those called in the poll. Last year, when her car was hit by stray bullets during a shopping trip, she hurried home rather than wait for the police for fear the shooter might return.
In Detroit, 1 in 5 residents (19%) cited public safety as the biggest issue facing the city, second only to education, named by 23%. On a list of eight concerns, police reform ranked last, at 4%.