LOUDONVILLE – A majority of registered New York voters believe the recent killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks “are part of a broader pattern of excessive police violence toward Black people,” rather than “tragic isolated instances,” a new Siena College poll found.
The poll found that 60 percent believe they’re part of a broader pattern, while 35 percent believe their isolated, according to the poll.
In another area of the poll, it found Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to have strong support in the state, with a 65-31 approval rating. He had a 66-30 approval rating last month. Voters also approved of his handling of the pandemic 76-21 percent.
The poll also found that 51 percent believe systemic racism is a very serious problem, while another 30 percent find it to be a somewhat serious problem. Ten percent of New Yorkers find it a not very serious problem and eight find it not at all a serious problem.
The poll also touched on other areas of policing, including support for a national database of police officer misconduct (84-10 percent), a federal law to ban the use of chokeholds by police officers (81-15 percent) and having mental health professionals respond alongside police officers to 911 calls dealing with homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness (82-12 percent). Each of those questions had broad bipartisan support.
On other questions, the parties split. Eliminating qualified immunity drew 63-26 percent support, with strong support from Democrats and independents and a small plurality of support from Republicans. A majority of New Yorkers oppose reducing police funding and strongly oppose defunding the police, while a plurality supports demilitarizing the police.
“While a clear majority of New Yorkers, 60 percent, say the recent killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks are part of a pattern of excessive police violence toward Black people, there are widespread racial, partisan and geographic differences,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. “Eighty percent of Democrats say it’s part of a broader pattern, while 57 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of independents, a plurality, say the deaths are tragic isolated instances.”
The poll also found that 53 percent of white voters say it is a part of a pattern, 64 percent of Latinos and 91 percent of Black New Yorkers believe that.
The poll was conducted June 23-25 among 806 registered voters in the state,with 472 contacted through landlines and cell phones and 334 from a proprietary online panel.