New Yorkers aren’t so pleased with the NYPD’s stop and frisk campaign, though at the same time, they give Police Commissioner Ray Kelly high marks, according to a new poll from the folks at Quinnipiac University.
Only 39 percent of folks approve of the stop and frisk campaign, including just 19 percent of African-Americans. A majority of New Yorkers across educational and income groups disapprove of the tactic that has been stubbornly defended by Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg as an effective deterrent to crime. The Quinnipiac pollsters have asked this question in six different polls starting in March, 2012, and the approval number has steadily declined over the period.
Kelly, however, maintains a 66 percent approval rating, higher even than that of the mayor, who is at 53 percent. Thirty-two percent of New Yorkers say they would be more likely to support a candidate who wants to keep Kelly on as police commissioner.And the NYPD overall gets a thumbs up from 61 percent of New Yorkers.
Meanwhile, the poll makes it clear that the stop and frisk controversy will be relevant in the mayoral race which is slowly gathering steam. Nearly half of New Yorkers said they would be less likely to support a candidate who supports stop and frisk. Only 14 percent of democrats said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the tactic.
In a statement, a group called Communities United for Police Reform took the poll as an opportunity to slam Bloomberg’s continued support of the strategy. “Today’s Quinnipiac poll shows that despite Mayor Bloomberg’s flailing, last ditch attempts to defend his leadership on stop-and-frisk with inaccurate claims and fear tactics, New Yorkers are not fooled.”
For amusement sake, it would appear, the pollsters also threw in a question about who was the best mayor. And the winner is … Rudy Giuliani, with 31 percent. Ed Koch came in second at 25 percent, followed by Bloomberg, at 24 percent.