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New Yorkers overwhelmingly disapprove of police turning backs on de Blasio: poll

Posted at 2:00 PM, Jan 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-16 14:59:17-05

NEW YORK (PIX11) - The New York City police union has lost the support of residents after several high-profile protests against Mayor de Blasio.

The vast majority of New Yorkers, regardless of race, gender, borough or age, called union leader Patrick Lynch's recent comments about the mayor's office "too extreme," according to a Quinnipiac poll.

In December, Lynch told reporters that the mayor's office "has blood on the hands" after two police officers where shot execution-style on a Brooklyn street.

An overwhelming 77 percent of voters disapproved of the comments.

Similarly, 69 percent of black, white and Hispanic voters said cops shouldn't have turned their backs on the mayor in the aftermath of the shooting.  Many officers said they felt the mayor didn't back them after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

"Cops turning their backs on their boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, is unacceptable, New Yorkers say by large margins. Even cop-friendly Staten Island gives that rude gesture only a split decision," said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Maurice Carroll.

Support for Commissioner Bratton has gone up since mid-December, from 44-39 percent to 56-31 percent.

"Maybe it's sympathy for a guy in a tough position, a commissioner leading a defiant department, but Commissioner William Bratton's job approval numbers jump up," Carroll added. "Voters think misbehaving cops should be punished and they fear that discipline in the department has broken down, but they believe Commissioner Bratton can straighten things out."

Both current and retired officers have been outspoken critics of the mayor's office, even flying banners over the city reading "De Blasio, our backs have turned to you," and "De Blasio get off the pot resign we love NYPD."

The icy relationship between the police union and the mayor prompted a sit-down at the end of December in an attempt to iron out differences.