NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A new poll finds New Yorkers are divided along racial lines when it comes to what they think about the New York City Police Department.

A New York Times survey has found that a majority of New Yorkers believe the NYPD favors whites over blacks.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports

That view was especially true among black New Yorkers, with 80 percent saying police favor one race over another. Forty-eighty percent of whites agreed.

“You got your good cops, you got your bad cops. But I don’t feel that way at all,” one woman, who is black, told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the department has long been criticized and falsely accused of racism.

“I guess if you’re accused long enough that will begin to show, at least in the New York Times poll,” Browne said. “If the police department has a bias it’s towards saving lives.”

The poll also found a majority of blacks said the department’s stop-and-frisk policy contributed to harassment of innocent people. Most white respondents said the policy improved safety.

Among all New Yorkers, 48 percent said the policy was “acceptable to make New York City safer.” Nearly as many — 45 percent — said it was “excessive.”

Browne said the only bias the police department has is towards saving lives.

“Most of those lives saved are young men of color because we’re actively trying to save lives. We’re in the areas where most crime is committed, which happen to be minority neighborhoods,” Browne told D’Auria.

The poll surveyed 1,026 adults by telephone from Aug. 10 to 15. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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