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Poll: NYC Voters Slam Sharpton, Disapprove of Cops Turning Backs

By    |   Thursday, 15 January 2015 04:27 PM

New York City voters overwhelmingly denounce police turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio in silent protests that have exacerbated tensions between officers and City Hall – and slam the Rev. Al Sharpton as a mostly negative force in the city, a new poll shows.

The Quinnipiac University survey, released Thursday, is the first to be released since relations between the police and mayor worsened after Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were ambushed and killed while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn on Dec. 20.

The survey showed voters by 69 percent to 27 percent disapprove of police turning their backs on the mayor during his remarks at the two slain officers' funerals, the poll showed.
"Cops turning their backs on their boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, is unacceptable, New Yorkers say by large margins. Even cop-friendly Staten Island gives that rude gesture only a split decision," said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Maurice Carroll.

But New Yorkers are critical in general of the continuing tensions, and the parts played by both Sharpton and Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch, findings show.
Voters give a withering (29-35) percent negative favorability to Sharpton, his lowest score ever, with voters saying 51-37 percent he's a mostly negative force in the city, also his worst score ever, the pollster said.

As for his influence with de Blasio, 37 percent say Sharpton holds too much sway, 8 percent say he has too little influence and 34 percent say his influence is about right.

Voters also slam Lynch with a negative 18-39 percent favorability rating and say by 43-27 percent that he's a mostly negative force in the city, the survey showed.

"It's an incongruous pairing, but Lynch and Rev. Al Sharpton, the outspoken police critic, share in the negative judgments of New Yorkers," Carroll said.

Relations between de Blasio and the police are "generally bad," voters say by 77-15 percent, and among those who say relations are "bad," 45 percent blame de Blasio, while 43 percent blame police. White voters blame de Blasio by 61-30 percent and black voters blame police by 69-16 percent. Hispanic voters are divided with 45 percent blaming the mayor and 42 percent blaming police.

Though voters citywide, 47 percent to 37 percent, say de Blasio's statements and actions show he does support police, among black voters, 69 percent said he's been supportive, and 53 percent of Hispanic voters agree. But among white voters, 49 percent said he hasn't been supportive, while 36 percent said he has.

Overall, though, voters disapprove 52 percent to 41 percent of the way de Blasio is handling the police department, and voters disapproved by the same margin of the way the mayor is handling relations between the police and community. A top mayoral campaign promise was to improve relations between the NYPD and the city's minority communities, The Wall Street Journal notes.

Asked to comment on the poll, Phil Walzak, a spokesman for de Blasio, told the Journal: "The mayor is committed to keeping crime low, ensuring the brave men and women of the NYPD are safe, and bringing police and community closer together."

Voters roundly denounced Lynch for saying de Blasio had blood on his hands after the two officers were killed, with 77 percent saying the union leader's comments were "too extreme," the poll found. No political party, gender, racial, borough or age group thought the remark was "appropriate," the poll found.

Requests for comment by the Journal from Lynch and Sharpton weren't immediately given, the newspaper said.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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New York City voters overwhelmingly slam the Rev. Al Sharpton as a mostly negative force in the city and denounce police turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio, a new poll shows.
NYPD, Bill de Blasio, New York, poll, disapprove, Al Sharpton, cops turning backs
Thursday, 15 January 2015 04:27 PM
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