New Yorkers think race relations worse now: Polls

By Juan Soto

A majority of New Yorkers believe police officers were wrong when their turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at the funerals of the two cops killed coldbloodedly in a Brooklyn street, according to two recently released polls.

A Quinnipiac survey found that 69 percent of city voters disapproved of the officers’ actions, while 27 percent agreed with their silent protest behavior.

According to a poll released on Martin Luther King Day by Sienna College, 52 percent ofregistered voters statewide opposed the actions by officers as disrespectful to de Blasio, while 39 percent said they were right. Among city voters polled,65 percent disagreed with the turning of the backs by police officers.

“Cops turning their backs on their boss, Mayor de Blasio, is unacceptable, New Yorkers say by large margins,” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director for the Quinnipiac University Poll.

On race relations, the Sienna College survey found that 66 percent of statewide residents say they are fair or poor and many blame the mayor, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch.

According to the poll, 48 percent of the registered voters interviewed think de Blasio made police-community relations worse (42 percent for city voters).

The poll found that 57 percent believe the same true is for Al Sharpton (52 percent in the city), while 34 percent think Lynch made relations worse (43 percent for city voters).

“More say that Lynch is making relations worse rather than better,” said Sienna College pollster Steven Greenberg. “And by large margins, more say Sharpton and de Blasio are making police-community relations worse.”

Greenberg noted, “New Yorkers’ feelings about the state of race relations here are more negative today than they have been for the last several years.”

But both polls also found that a majority of New Yorkers support the job the police are doing.

In the Quinnipiac poll, 56 percent of New Yorkers approved of the Police Department, up from 51 percent in December.

The Sienna poll pointed out 72 percent of city voters view the NYPD favorably.

New Yorkers also approved the job performance of Police Commissioner William Bratton.

“Maybe it’s sympathy for a guy in a tough position, a commissioner leading a defiant department, but Bratton’s job approval numbers are up,” Carroll said. “Voters think misbehaving cops should be punished and they fear discipline in the department has broken down.”

Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at jsoto‌@cngl‌ocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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