Poll: 50 percent in Michigan back Black Lives Matter on police brutality

Demonstrators hold up signs in a Black Lives Matter protest in Plymouth in June. BLM may be helping improve the chances of progressive candidates of color, a new study found. (Shutterstock)

A new political poll that surveyed 600 likely voters in Michigan found that 50 percent support the Black Lives Matter movement’s stance on police brutality, while 42 percent disapprove.


The poll question focused on law enforcement, but academics, civil rights leaders and others point out BLM has emerged into a major social movement that’s shaping debates about systemic injustice in seemingly every avenue of public life.  

“It’s sparked a general sense to address social inequity. This has caused us to look at everything and that is one of the heartening parts of the Black Lives Movement,” said the Rev. Horace Sheffield III of Detroit, a veteran civil rights advocate. “This is a major movement that’s comparable to the Civil Rights Movement in the sense that people in the white community and certain people of influence are behind this, which means it’s not going to be swept under the rug anytime soon.”

The Michigan poll was conducted by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA between July 25 and 30. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. 

Respondents were asked this about BLM:  “Do you approve or disapprove of the actions taken by this group to bring attention to the excessive and often deadly force which they claim is unnecessarily used by many state and local police officers against black people in particular?

The number of supporters and critics is fairly even, the survey found. 

Half of the respondents, 50 percent, said they approved, with 32 percent saying they “strongly approve,” and 18 percent “somewhat approve.”

Those who disapproved totaled 42 percent, with 31 percent saying they “strongly disapprove” while 11 percent somewhat disapprove.  

Another 8 percent said they were undecided or refused to answer the question. 

The results of the Michigan poll are similar to what national surveys find among registered voters about BLM. The online research firm Civiqs has had an ongoing survey about Black Lives Matter since April. The survey finds 50 percent of registered voters approve, 30 percent disapprove, 12 percent are neutral and 2 percent are unsure. 

Black Lives Matter was created in 2013 by three Black women — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi —  in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer. 

Since the death of George Floyd at the hands of white policemen in Minneapolis on May 25, BLM has become a global rallying cry. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in June found that as many as 26 million Americans have participated in a BLM march or rally. A Brookings Institution study of BLM events finds they attract a more diverse group of participants compared to other large-scale protests against President Donald Trump and his policies.

BLM may be helping improve the chances of progressive candidates of color, according to the Brookings Institution study. 

On Tuesday, U.S Rep. Rashida Tlaib handily won a rematch with Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones to represent the 13th District. The district covers a big swath of Detroit, a bit of Downriver as well as the cities of Highland Park, Garden City and Romulus. The district is heavily Democrat, which means Tlaib’s path to victory in November is virtually assured.

Tlaib has embraced the Black Lives Movement and its calls for police reform. Jones had received earlier criticism from the local Detroit Will Breathe group for not taking a tougher stance. 

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Tue, 08/11/2020 - 9:15am

Those are the 50% who care about their fellow human beings, not to mention all of God's creation.

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 11:26am

Let us not forget the name Bernard Trammell. Mr. Trammell was a business man in Milwaukee. He was an advocate of his community often helping those in need. Mr. Trammell was assassinated while standing in front of his store. Surveillance video shows what appears to be a person on a bike as the perpetrator. Mr. Trammell’s crime was that he was holding a political sign promoting the wrong political party. If you say Black lives matter, but don’t include that of Mr. Trammell, then you are saying not all black lives matter. Mr. Trammell was black.

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 2:50pm

The reason Mr. Trammell was shot is still unknown. He not only held pro-Trump signs but also pro-Democratic candidate signs, religious signs, and BLM signs.

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 8:23am

Sorry, that statement doesn't fit the Bridge narrative, expect most comments that are in support of your to not be approved.

Kevin Grand
Tue, 08/11/2020 - 5:36pm

BLM's actions in Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and Chicago speak very clearly regarding how BLM intends to achieve its goals.





And EXACTLY what were BLM goals again?

"We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.

We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.

We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.

We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.

We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise)."


Strangely, there is NOTHING in the above regarding the police?

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 8:22am

The disapproval rate is much higher than this.
Less than one tenth of one percent of police officers are involved in shooting black people every year, and at the most, they shoot a few hundred blacks in one year, 99% of which are shown to be justified from video evidence.
Meanwhile, blacks shoot thousands of other blacks every year. And no one cares.
This entire situation is hilarious. Never seen democrats try so hard to manipulate blacks over a non-issue before.

middle of the mit
Sun, 08/16/2020 - 11:05pm

Same could be said of teachers or auto workers.

Where were you then?

Robert Johanson
Wed, 08/12/2020 - 4:32pm

this is a make believe poll

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 4:34pm

They link to the company that provided the poll and if you click on press room, you can find the actual poll results. You can also look up EPIC-MRA and learn that they are generally regarded as a high quality polling firm with very little political bias (FiveThirtyEight says they are right in the middle for bias with a very slightly right lean). It seems critical thinking skills go out the window with some readers when they disagree with the poll results...

Fri, 08/14/2020 - 9:31am

You seem to think that every issue can be distilled down to a few polling questions, a simple slogan or acronym, That suggests to me you left you critical reasoning behind when you entered the realm of social politics. Every issue that is surveyed after repeated 'front page' treatment for extended periods is biased, we hear the polling of how many who are unwilling to honestly respond to perceived political surveys, we watch or hear about how the movements of BLM have been so aggressive in social media and in the protests attacking those that are watchers or are considered protesting the BLM protestors and even you are attacking the intellect of those who didn't support you views in the survey by questioning their intellect, their thinking.
It has been just over ten years when in my town there was a protest where matcher [led by the local ministers] went down a main street chanting about a black life ended by a policeman shooting on their way to City hall, while that policeman was in the hospital fighting for his life from the beating he was receiving from the man he killed. It took him nearly a year to recover. Why shouldn't something like that be taken into consideration?
If that polling company would have pressed me for my view and I knew you would try to belittle my ability to think critically I would still take into consideration how these 'movements' aren't about solving problems [because they never want to be part of a conversation with a diverse group of perspectives, they never want to think past the slogan or acronym].
You are willing to judge on a single survey never asking what people are willing to do or have done when a persons life is at risk let alone when it was a black life.
Screw the polls they are simply a tool for the media to fill space, the only one that truly matters is when people take actions. It is when that police officer risks their life [regardless of their political views] to protect another never considering the ethnicity because that is what they signed up to do, or that first responder entering a burning building or a soldier in a firefight, or it is in the voting booth.
As for how good you claim that polling company is, their polling is not a science, it is inherently biased and anyone judging the people polled is obviously simply looking for an excuse to demean those that don't fall in line with them.
True critical thinking tries to take in the whole of events and information and questions its impact on the problem at hand. A true critical thinker would want to know why there is disagreement and what are the concerns, and they would never ask the questions that is so blatantly driven by a slogan or acronym.

middle of the mit
Sun, 08/16/2020 - 11:36pm


You are conflating republican talking points with reality.

BLM was supposed to have invade my town duane, on July 4th. Didn't happen. And the lady informed me about it, heard if from Faceplant. Where do you get your information that BLM is invading your town? I heard they were invading Sturgis.....during the biker rally......LOL!!!

[[[If that polling company would have pressed me for my view and I knew you would try to belittle my ability to think critically I would still take into consideration how these 'movements' aren't about solving problems [because they never want to be part of a conversation with a diverse group of perspectives, they never want to think past the slogan or acronym].]]]

See duane, you always think others are belittling your views, while you belittle theirs. Slogans? Who is a patriot? NOT libs? Who is about law and order? Slogans my friend. Why else would the administration be firing sooooo many Inspector Generals of the Administration?

[[[[Screw the polls they are simply a tool for the media to fill space, the only one that truly matters is when people take actions.]]]

But you won't accept it when it comes to Black lives matter!

[[[As for how good you claim that polling company is, their polling is not a science, it is inherently biased and anyone judging the people polled is obviously simply looking for an excuse to demean those that don't fall in line with them.]]]]

Is this true for all polling companies? Or just ones that you don't agree with?

You are always obfuscating where responsibility should be held. Who is responsible for things at all?

And finally........where are your solutions? Or better yet, where are the Police suggestions?

Come on man! I am a critical thinker!!

Mon, 08/17/2020 - 5:06pm

You seem to think these 'protesters' and the methods are some how new, when in reality we were experiencing them 50 years ago with the same purpose in mind, personal political power.
None of the 'protesters' can even describe the problem they want solved in a way for people to work at solving it. When people step forward to talk about making all lives matter they are put down as not caring about 'black lives'. How can you believe 'protestors' really want to change things when they won't accept the inclusion of those that believe all lives matter equally. You are an example of this, you are unwilling to recognize that people of different backgrounds do believe all lives matter and have shown proven this by putting their own lives in jeopardy to protect or save another's life, a 'black' life, an Asian, an Hispanic, a native American, a 'white' American.
Why should anyone believe the 'protestors' or even you are at all interested in solving any problem, both are unwilling to listen and if you won't listen you don't care to hear.
There is no magical answer that with the espousing of a few words or an acronym that will solve any problem, though it can make it worse. We need ideas and actions that can be applied by individuals to check themselves to ensure that are creating effective personal habits, we actions that neighborhoods and communities can apply that makes changes part of the mundane everyday activities, we need actions that become part of micro-cultures. People's relations are something that is controlled by some elite it is what they do everyday.
The delusion, the harm, the exacerbation of any social problem is to believe that the loud you are about a problem and the more general you make it to be the less likely you will enlist those that you need to fix the problem.
I don't claim to have the answer, what I can offer is a starting point, a means to begin working together to create the answer.
I wonder what you definition is for a 'critical thinker'. You seem to always have an answer in mind before you have even described the problem.