The Slatest

New Yorkers Strongly Disapprove of Police Turning Backs on Mayor at Funerals

Police turn their backs on a video feed of Bill de Blasio speaking at the Dec. 27 funeral of officer Rafael Ramos.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

In recent weeks police officers at the funerals of murdered NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu turned their backs on New York mayor Bill de Blasio in an act of protest against his perceived lack of support for the department. (De Blasio has long said the NYPD needs to improve its relationship with the communities it serves, and recently he expressed sympathy for those upset by a grand jury’s December decision not to indict an officer for the choking death of Eric Garner.) A new poll indicates that New York voters, by a large margin, felt that this back-turning protest was inappropriate:

New York City voters, black, white and Hispanic, disapprove 69 - 27 percent of police officers turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at funerals for two police officers, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Similar disapproval was registered for police union leader Patrick Lynch’s accusation that the mayor had “blood on [his] hands” after Ramos and Liu were murdered by a Baltimore man who’d written on Instagram about taking revenge for the deaths of suspects killed by police.

Police union leader Patrick Lynch’s comments that the mayor’s office had blood on its hands are “too extreme,” voters say 77 - 17 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. There is no party, gender, racial, borough or age group which finds the comments “appropriate.”

Respondents were more evenhanded in assessing the overall relationship between de Blasio and the police. Of the 77 percent who described said relations as “bad,” 45 percent said de Blasio was more to blame for the state of affairs and 43 percent said police were.