POLL: New Yorkers approve of many police reforms

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Photo credit Protesters fill steps of city hall in Buffalo/WBEN Photo

(WBEN) - A new Siena Research poll of New Yorkers shows that while a majority oppose the mantra of “Defund the Police,” many support police reforms that have been at the center of the conversation.

The poll shows over 80% of New Yorkers favor creating a national database of police misconduct, having mental health professionals respond with police on certain 911 calls, and having a federal law to ban the use of chokeholds. A majority also support eliminating qualified immunity for police officers.

However, a majority oppose reducing funding to police departments and the idea to “Defund the Police.” Voters were split on the idea of demilitarizing police departments.

“Bringing it closer to home, 60% say people of color are not treated fairly by the criminal justice system in New York, with only a majority of Republicans and conservatives saying people of color are treated fairly by the state’s criminal justice system. Stunningly, though not necessarily surprisingly, 92 percent of Blacks and 72 percent of Latinos say people of color are treated unfairly,” Siena Research’s Steve Greenberg said in a statement.

“Overall, 42 percent of New Yorkers feel more secure when they see a police officer, compared to 20 percent who feel less secure and 35 percent are unaffected. But that doesn’t tell the full story. When Blacks see a police officer, 46 percent feel less secure and only 13 percent feel more secure. It is the mirror image for whites with 51 percent feeling more secure and only 13 percent less secure.”