The New York Police Department has been facing what seem like steep PR challenges after reports by the Associated Press that it spied on Muslims and the protests in February over its record-high street stops, but with enough pollsters on the case, New Yorkers were able to offer up with a positive opinion of both.
A Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday showed 82 percent of New Yorkers thought the NYPD was doing a fine job in preventing terrorism while 58 percent saw no problem with it targeting Muslims for surveillance (a practice Attorney General Eric Holder called "disturbing"). That poll found only 46 percent of the 964 New York City voters it surveyed by phone approving of the department's stop-and-frisk policy. The poll included 587 white people, 189 black, 95 hispanic, and 93 "other," according to Quinnipiac's demographics report; as for religion, 209 of the respondents said they were Catholic, 61 identified as Protestant and 160 Jewish. No figure given for Muslims.
A second poll from the City University of New York's Baruch College found 59 percent of its 804 New York City residents it surveyed by phone approved of the stop-and-frisk policy while 32 percent opposed it. Baruch's press release said it contacted 385 white respondents, 184 black, and 183 Latino, leaving 42 unaccounted for. And if you break down the responses by race, not everyone's happy with the department, it found: "By nearly 2 to 1 -- 59% to 32% -- New Yorkers approve the NYPD engaging in stop and frisks. While substantial majorities of white (68%), Asian (68%), and Hispanic (61%) New Yorkers approve of NYPD’s use of stop and [f]risk, a 52%-42%majority of blacks oppose the practice." Of course, that mostly stop-and-frisk-friendly survey wasn't without its drawback for the department: Only 43 percent of respondents to the Baruch poll approved of the Muslim spying practice. You can't win 'em all, NYPD.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.