One thing most New Yorker agree on: Officer Daniel Pantaleo should face prosecution for killing Eric Garner.
In a new Quinnipiac University poll, 68 percent of New Yorkers said that “there is absolutely no excuse for how the police acted” and 64 percent believe that Staten Island Distriact Attorney Daniel Donovan should press criminal charges.
But even within that general point of agreement there are stark racial divides.
On the question of Garner’s death, 90 percent of black respondents and 71 percent of Hispanic respondents responded that there was “no excuse” for the police’s actions. Meanwhile, 52 percent of white respondents gave that answer and more than a third stated that “it is understandable that the police could have acted this way.”
Similarly 80 percent of black respondents and 67 percent of Hispanic respondents approved of criminal charges against Pantaleo, while 50 percent of whites did.
More black respondents approved than disapproved of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s response to Garner’s death. For white respondents it was the reverse.
The racial divide in the city’s perception about the police department was an overarching theme of the poll results.
One other thing most New Yorker agree on: 48 percent of white, 47 percent of black, and 49 percent of Hispanic respondents answered that “being the victim of a crime something [they] personally worry about.”
Next: the video of Pantaleo choking Garner.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 28, 2014