A new poll conducted by The New York Times reveals 64 percent of New Yorkers believe the NYPD favors whites over blacks.
An even more overwhelming 80 percent of blacks said the NYPD practices racial favoritism. And 48 percent of white New Yorkers polled agreed.
The disturbing results further critics' notions the department may indeed have a "race problem" and brings further scrutiny of the NYPD's controversial use of stop-and-frisks.
The Times poll found 45 percent of New Yorkers thought stop-and-frisks were "excessive." 57 percent of New Yorkers, however, still approved of Mayor Bloomberg's crime tactics. Even more, 61 percent, approved of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's.
Both Bloomberg and Kelly are known for their staunch support of the NYPD stop-and-frisks, despite protests calling for the end of the practice.
Another recent poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, found New Yorkers split on stop-and-frisk policies along racial lines.
The study found 57 percent of whites supporting the practice, which permits the NYPD to search anyone they believe is suspicious, while only 25 percent of blacks approved.
The NYPD stopped and interrogated people 684,330 times in 2011, according to The Wall Street Journal, a 14 percent increase over 2010. 92 percent of those stopped were males, and 87 percent of those stopped were black or Hispanic, a glaring disparity considering blacks and Hispanics make up only 59 percent of the city's population.
Earlier this summer, Bloomberg spoke at a black church in Brownsville where he defended stop-and-frisks as a necessary means to prevent crime. He also noted that, compared to ten years ago, 30 percent fewer New Yorkers have been incarcerated.
In 2009 a staggering 93 out of 100 Brownsville residents were stopped by the NYPD.
Yet even with the disproportionate numbers-- for example, more young black men are being stopped than there are young black men in the entire city-- Kelly has continued to defend the program. "Who will speak out about the elephant in the corner, which is the inordinate level of violence that exists in many of these communities?" he once said.
In May, stop-and-frisk critics earned a major victory when a judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit claiming the practice is racially biased. The judge found "overwhelming evidence" that the program has led to countless unlawful stops of innocent New Yorkers.
The class-action status prompted the police commissioner to send a letter to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn detailing changes to the program and reassuring the public that the NYPD strictly prohibits racial profiling.