Siena Poll: NYers say recent killings are part of pattern of excessive police violence, support demonstrations and reforms

Around New York State

Protesters march Saturday, June 6, 2020, in New York. Demonstrations continue across the United States in protest of racism and police brutality, sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Ragan Clark)

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (WROC) — By a 60-35% margin, New Yorkers say 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.’

81% say that systemic racism in the country is a very (51%) or somewhat (30%) serious problem, while 18% say it’s not very (10%) or not at all (8%) a serious problem, according to the latest Siena College Poll of registered New York State voters released on Tuesday.

Some other findings include:

  • More than 80% support: national police misconduct database, federal ban on chokeholds & mental health professionals riding with police on certain calls
  • Strong support for recent demonstrations across the nation, 60-36%
  • 80% say recent new New York laws to improve policing will be good for the state
  • When seeing a police officer, 51% of white New Yorkers feel more secure & 13% less Secure; However, 46% of Black New Yorkers feel less secure & 13% more secure

Eliminating qualified immunity (63-26% support) has strong support from Democrats and independents and small plurality 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%, 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, 80% of Democrats say it’s part of a broader pattern, while 57% of Republicans and 48% of independents, a plurality, say the deaths are tragic isolated instances,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement.

“Although 53% of white voters say it is part of a pattern, that view is held by 64% of Latinos and 91% of Black New Yorkers. New York City voters see a pattern 72-23%, while upstaters agree 55-39% and downstate suburbanites are closely divided.”

The full Siena Report can be found here:

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