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Police perception across the country takes a hit

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Posted at 11:41 AM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-10 11:02:11-04

Trust in police has come to the forefront of American's minds this week after two black men were killed by white police officers.

This frustration has been displayed from peaceful protests to killing white police officers, both of which took place in Dallas last night.

While police are taking heat across the country as the perception of police takes a hit, there are also officers being celebrated by their communities. Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Tortorella received the Presidential Medal of Valor just two months ago after exchanging shots with an armed man at close range.

"All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens," said Dallas Police Chief David Brown this morning.

In a national poll conducted by Gallup last year, a majority of Americans, 52%, expressed "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the police. However, this was at an all time low since 1993.

In another national poll conducted by Reuters last year, a majority also reflected their trust in police. The graphs below show a majority of Americans disagreed that police officers tend to unfairly target minorities. A majority also said that they trust police officers to be fair and just.

The question now becomes whether or not this perception has changed. While no national polls have been published since the shootings this week, has local perception of police changed here in Western New York?