NYPD Commissioner William Bratton's approval rating drops after Eric Garner death, poll finds


Police Commissioner William J. Bratton at police headquarters in Manhattan on Monday, July 7, 2014. Photo Credit: Agaton Strom

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NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton's job approval rating has dropped in the wake of the officer-involved death of Eric Garner, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday.

The poll, conducted between Aug. 20 and Monday, showed that 48 percent of New York City voters approve of Bratton, compared with 57 percent in June and March.

Additionally, the poll found Mayor Bill de Blasio clinging to a 50 percent approval rating, virtually unchanged from June, and the Rev. Al Sharpton ranking as the "most important black leader in New York City."

Bratton's current rating is lower than Ray Kelly's at any point in the former top cop's 12 years in office. Kelly was at his lowest -- 52 percent -- in January 2007 and highest -- 75 percent -- in January 2013.

"The chokehold case has cut Bratton's numbers," assistant poll director Maurice Carroll said. "The Staten Island killing focused attention on the cops and focused attention on the commissioner and focused attention negatively."

Garner, 43, of Staten Island died July 17 after police held him in a chokehold, a move forbidden by the NYPD. The case spurred thousands to march this past Saturday against police violence.

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The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment on Bratton's poll numbers.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,021 voters via landline and cellphone for the latest poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The poll showed 20 percent of voters believe the Rev. Al Sharpton, who led the Staten Island march, is the city's most important black leader. Next was President Barack Obama with 5 percent. Voters are split, however, on Sharpton's influence: 49 percent call it positive while 40 percent say it is negative.

Thirty-two percent of voters disapprove of de Blasio's job performance. His support is highest among black voters, with 65 percent approving and 15 percent disapproving.


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