A flash poll conducted in a three-hour window following the announcement of a guilty verdict for police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd found that the vast majority of Americans agreed with the jury’s conclusion.
In the Ipsos poll conducted for USA Today, 71% of respondents said they agreed with the finding that Chauvin was guilty, and 62% said they planned on simply accepting the verdict with no further action.
Chauvin was found guilty on all three felony counts charged against him in the death of Floyd after kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Although higher numbers of Democrats and independents agreed with the guilty verdict, 85% and 71% respectively, a 55% majority of Republicans also did.
But the public was divided on Chauvin’s motivation for the killing, with 40% saying he was guilty of murder while 32% said Chauvin’s actions amounted to negligence. Just 11% viewed Chauvin’s actions as an accident.
Not surprisingly, perceptions of Chauvin’s motivations broke down along partisan lines, with 51% of Democrats and 41% of independents saying Chauvin’s conduct amounted to murder, while just 26% of Republicans said the same.
Across the board, 61% of Democrats, Republicans, and independents said they planned on accepting the verdict without taking any further actions. Among Democrats, 25% said they would accept the verdict and participate in marches and rallies going forward, while just 15% of Republicans said the same.
Still, some 20% of Republicans said they reject the verdict, but only 5% of Republicans both rejected the verdict and planned to protest it.