2 polls give conflicting view of New York City police program targeting Muslims

NEW YORK — Two polls of New Yorkers offered conflicting views Tuesday about the police department’s gathering of intelligence on Muslims as it guards the city against another terrorist attack.

A survey by Quinnipiac University showed most voters in the city believe police have acted appropriately toward Muslims, while another, broader poll by Baruch College found New Yorkers evenly divided over whether the department should be focusing on Muslims.

Polling experts attributed the divergent findings to differences in wording and question order. Some of the same difficult questions have divided legal experts and politicians since The Associated Press disclosed the NYPD’s secret surveillance of Muslims in a recent series of stories.

New Yorker Carol Martin, a retired bookkeeper, said she is uncomfortable with the idea of putting people under surveillance with no evidence they are doing anything wrong, but considers it a necessary precaution.