January 6, 2015
Madison Grady

Oklahoma likely voters agree anyone resisting arrest should expect their life to be in danger

In SoonerPoll's most recent quarterly poll of Oklahoma likely voters, respondents were asked if a person should expect their life to be in danger if they resist arrest by the police, and almost two-thirds, 62.8 percent, agreed that they should.

This question, among others, was asked following the high profile decision of two grand juries in two states regarding two African American males who were killed by police. In the New York case, video captured the arrest of Eric Garner who resisted while being arrested. In the Missouri case, it was unclear whether Mike Brown resisted arrest.

[box]Click here for complete question wording/crosstabs[/box]


"In designing this question, we set a very high threshold of not just injury but 'life at risk,'" said Bill Shapard, CEO of "We were amazed that nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans would agree, but it shows Oklahomans believe resisting arrest by police is not the right course of action and suspects, regardless of their race, age, sex, or religion, should consider their life to be at risk if they do."

Republicans were considerably more likely to agree with this statement, 72.4 percent, than both Democrats at 51.7 percent and Independents at 64.3 percent. Just over one quarter, 27.4 percent, of Democrats “Strongly disagree” with this statement, compared to 19.6 percent of Independents and only 7.2 percent of Republicans.

Men were also much more likely to “Strongly agree” with this statement, 56.8 percent, compared to women at 38.2 percent.

"There is a strong 'law and order' mentality in these poll results," Shapard said. "Oklahomans see that law enforcement has a job to do and arrests should be civil."

The statewide poll was conducted among likely voters, which included some African Americans, and stratified to a profile of likely Oklahoma voters, but analysis of African Americans was not considered due to low sample size.


About the Poll

The poll of 403 likely voters in Oklahoma was commissioned and conducted Dec 8-19, 2014 by and included 88 cellphone and 318 landline users. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.88 percentage points.

Poll results were weighted by age and congressional district, stratified by Oklahoma likely voters statewide. This poll conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll's Call Disposition and Rate Calculation report can be viewed here.

PHOTO BY Scorpion381

Madison Grady
About the Author

Madison Grady