By Brett Gillin
The soap opera that is the relationship between embattled New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department continues to twist and turn. This time, a poll put out by Quinnipiac University shows that many New Yorkers are fed up, but you may be surprised as to what exactly they’re fed up with, and where they think the blame lies for the rift.
The poll, as reported in this story from Yahoo News, asked registered voters a range of questions concerning their feelings about the mayor, the police, the rift between them, and outside influences. 1,182 voters made up the sample size for the poll.
According to the poll, 77 percent of New Yorkers think that the relationship between Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD is a bad one. That much just about anyone could have predicted, but the next set of questions may surprise some of our readers.
When it comes to who is mostly to blame for the bad relationship, slightly more New Yorkers think the Mayor is to blame. 45 percent of those responding think the mayor is to blame for the rift, while 43 percent think that the police are the ones holding the blame for the fractured relationship.
This decaying relationship started down its current path when Mayor de Blasio vocally supported critics of the police department, including many protestors. This has led to a number of actions by the police, from turning their backs on the mayor during funerals and speeches, to a self-imposed “slowdown” of arrests and tickets for a two-week period late in December.
When it comes to the secondary figures in the ongoing saga, the public seems to be more united. More than 75 percent of those polled thought that Patrick Lynch, the head of the city’s largest police union, went too far when declaring there was “blood on the hands” of de Blasio. In contrast, only 18 percent claimed that they viewed Lynch in a positive light after the comments.
More than 66 percent of those polled thought the police turning their back on the mayor during the funerals was in poor taste and disapproved of their actions. More than half thought that officers who followed the “slowdown” should be punished as well.
Al Sharpton, a central figure in this drama, is a mostly negative force in New York City, according to over half of the respondents. Finally, the public was divided on their feelings as to who was handling the drama better. 52 percent felt that de Blasio was not handling the situation properly, while 41 percent approved.
This poll had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.