It’s the mayor’s first budget that cuts the NYPD’s funding since he took office.
Here are details to NYC budget proposal re NYPD funding. @NYCMayor says July recruit class will be canceled, reducing NYPD headcount by ~1,160 & overtime will be capped. @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/1vvBOStKIz
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) June 30, 2020
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, the NYPD will be impacted in the following ways:
- The July police class of over 1,100 will be canceled
- School safety will be shifted out of the NYPD
- Crossing guards will be shifted out of the NYPD
- Homeless outreach will be shifted out of the NYPD
- Overtime will be curtailed
The mayor said $115 million will go toward summer youth programming, $116 million toward education and $134 million toward family services. Another $450 million will support NYCHA and park recreation centers, and $87 million will help expand broadband in public housing.
He said $430 million will be cut from the department’s budget, and $537 million be shifted in capital.
WATCH: Mayor De Blasio Announces Budget Agreement
But those seeking wholesale changes in how the NYPD polices its communities are uniformly unhappy. Anthonine Pierre with Community United for Police Reform said that moving budget lines from one agency to another was not reform, but a gimmick.
“I mean, it’s hard not to feel hoodwinked and gaslit when we have very clear demands, we have very clear policy demands,” Pierre said.
The New York Civil Liberties Union said the plan “creates the illusion that the NYPD is cutting $1 billion from their budget. But, for the most part, their changes simply move police officers to other agencies, make hollow cuts, and do not reinvest in impacted communities with effective solutions to medical, educational, and social problems.”
As we near the final budget vote, it has become clear that this budget ignores some of the most critical elements of reducing NYPD funding and redefining public safety.
Unless it meets those needs, I will use my Charter authority to prevent the budget from being executed.
— Office of the Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams (@nycpa) June 30, 2020
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said he plans to use his authority to block the proposal. He demanded a full NYPD hiring freeze and a commitment to transform school safety over the next year.
“As we near the final budget vote, it has become clear to me that this budget ignores some of the most critical elements of reducing NYPD’s funding and redefining public safety,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “Unless it meets those needs, I will use my Charter authority as Public Advocate under Ch. 58, Section 1518 to prevent the budget from being executed during the final tax warrant process.”
He later added, “I think it’s sending the wrong message at a time when everybody is clamoring for a different discussion about what public safety means.”
A spokesperson for de Blasio said the public advocate didn’t have the ability to hold tax collections.
Kramer asked the mayor what he would say to those who say the proposed police budgetary reform is just a fiscal sleight of hand.
“Marcia, look, some people are never happy and I’m doing the work every day to make sure that we change this city,” de Blasio said. “But also, and I now you know this, Marcia, the deep desire in our neighborhoods for safety and how we strike that balance.”
Some protesters told CBS2’s Christina Fan they agree that the cuts appear disingenuous.
“For example, there are a lot of cops in schools. We all know this, but you can move money from the NYPD budget to the education budget in such a way that might still be able to find those cops in those schools,” protester Mitchell Polinsky said.
“Yeah, you’re taking money from them, but what is $1 billion?” said Jyshae Wiley.
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Tuesday marked the seventh day of a weeklong occupation at City Hall. The day began with a violent scuffle as police and protesters shoved each other and water bottles flew overhead.
Police arrested one person for allegedly assaulting an officer and another for spray-painting property. Protesters claimed officers were so aggressive in their arrests, one demonstrator lost consciousness.
“A police officer swung his baton, and that’s when everything broke out,” Wiley said. “I actually got hit with a baton myself.”
“What we saw this morning is exactly why we are here. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” said Nelini Stamp.
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Hundreds of people have been camping on the corner of Chambers and Centre Street. They started chanting well before sunrise, vandalizing nearby buildings with anti-police messages and calling for the NYPD’s nearly $6 billion budget to be dramatically cut.
“It’s real personal to me. I’m scared to get up and walk outside and have to be scared every single day, from supposedly the cops that are supposed to protect us,” a man named Alex said.
Protesters also unfurled a long banner listing the names of hate crime victims and police brutality victims since the 1970s. They said the length of the fabric shows how prominent racism is in society.
“I hope people get a sense of the enormity of the issues at hand,” said Polinsky. “I hope this banner provides just a tiny fraction of a glimpse into that scale.”
Watch Ali Bauman’s report —
Tensions rose outside City Hall and protesters took over the intersection late Tuesday night, still waiting for the City Council to vote on the 2021 budget, expected to be a done deal.
“We understand the difference between defunding the police and accounting tricks,” protester Charles Khan told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson addressed members before the vote.
“I am proud of the changes that we secured, especially given the challenges we faced, given the $9 billion revenue shortfall. I do wish we had done more to cut the NYPD,” he said. “To everyone who is disappointed, and I know that there are many, I’m disappointed as well, I wanted us to go deeper. I wanted us to take larger head count reductions. I wanted a true hiring freeze. I wanted us to cancel addition classes. But this is a budget process that involves the mayor, who would not budge on these items.”
The cuts come amid a recent spike in crime.
According to a new Sienna poll, 60% of New Yorkers oppose defunding the police.
The same poll asked, do you feel more or less secure when you see a police officer?
Fifty-one percent of white respondents said more secure compared to just 13% of Black respondents.
“The safest communities across this state have the least amount of police and that should indicate something very clear to us because those same communities also have the most amount of resources and that ultimately, those investments are what make those communities safe,” Khan said.
Thousands of people remained outside City Hall around 11 p.m. Tuesday. Some broke off to march to the council speaker’s house.
Some protesters have said they expect some people will continue occupying the space outside City Hall in protest after the budget vote, while others will fight for police reform in other ways.