(KUTV) — Most Utahns are fully supportive of significant changes to the way law enforcement agencies operate, according to a new poll.
The Libertas Institute commissioned an independent polling company to find out where Utahns stand on policing and reform.
Ninety-percent of voters who participated in the poll agreed, and 68% strongly agreed, that police officers who have been "proven to use excessive force against an individual" should be subject to mandatory suspension or termination of their police certification.
Approximately 94% agreed that police officers who witness another officer's misconduct or excessive force should be required to file a report about that officer. 79% strongly agreed.
When it comes to requiring officers to wear body cameras and be prohibited from turning them off in situations where force might be used, or has been used, 91% of the voters agreed, while 75% strongly agreed.
KUTV 2News did not commission or participate in this study and could not verify its results or findings.
“The message from the public is clear,” Molly Davis, Libertas Institute’s criminal justice policy analyst, stated in a press release about the results.
There needs to be systemic reforms to ensure more accountability of those we entrust with significant, even lethal, power. We look forward to proposing some reasonable reforms designed to improve policing and hold ‘bad apples’ accountable whenever misconduct might occur.
The poll also included questions about no-knock warrants, racial discrimination, independent civilian review boards, punishment for failure to use a body camera and police officers in K-12 schools.
Libertas Institute stated in a news release that it's working with Utah legislators to address these issues and others pertaining to policing and criminal justice reform.
The poll was conducted between July 1 -2 by Public Policy Polling. More than 1,000 Utah voters were surveyed and the poll has a 2.9% margin of error. Read more here:
This comes as protesters across the country, and in Utah, have repeatedly gathered to call for police and criminal justice reform.
In wake of the movement, the Salt Lake City Police Department banned chokeholds, a practice they didn't teach in the past but wanted to make sure it would not be used in the future. The city also formed the Commission on Racial Equality in Policing, which will discuss and make recommendations to city officials regarding police policy, budgeting and culture.
When the committee was announced on June 25, Rev. France Davis, Pastor Emeritus of the Calvary Baptist Church, told 2News, “As we form the committee, realize what kind of power, what kind of budget it has — then we’ll know whether it’s just another paper stamping committee or whether it has some real teeth."
The local NAACP announced police reform efforts in June. Since then, several meetings between the groups involved have happened. However, any legislative changes will likely wait until 2021.