Poll: New Yorkers are Divided by Race on Stop and Frisk

The controversial practice is approved by a majority of white New Yorkers, but only by a quarter of Black voters.

Posted: 08/21/2012 02:49 PM EDT

The police practice known as Stop and Frisk has been the subject of great controversy and sharp criticism from elected officials and civil rights groups.


Nonetheless, voters in New York City, where Stop and Frisk policing is most widely practiced, are divided along racial lines in terms of how they view the initiative.


A poll by Quinnipiac University indicated that 57 percent of white New Yorkers approve of the New York Police Department’s Stop and Frisk practice, while just 25 percent of African-American voters voiced approval of the policy.


The poll also indicated that 53 percent of Latino voters approved of the practice.


Stop and Frisk has been a topic of great public debate in the last few years. Opponents charge that the practice is tantamount to officially-sanctioned racial profiling, with Black and Latino New Yorkers bearing the brunt of the practice.


In looking at the general population, approval for Stop and Frisk was at 45 percent, while disapproval was at 50 percent. Some 64 percent of voters said they approve of New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's job performance. His approval among whites was at 77 percent, while among Blacks it was at 51 percent.


Last year, nearly 700,000 New Yorkers were stopped by New York City’s police officers. Of those, roughly 87 percent were Black or Latino.


New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has defended the program, saying it is an essential tool in fighting crime and curbing violence in the city.


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