NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City lawmakers approved a more than $88 billion budget overnight.
The deal includes a $1 billion cut from the NYPD, but some protesters say it still falls short of their demands.READ MORE: Juneteenth Celebrations Across New York City Take On New Meaning In 2021
“I think they should have put in the hard work, which is the council should have come up with a different budget,” another protester said.
Protesters built a barricade outside City Hall, only to have it torn down by police, followed by several arrests. The demonstrators said the council only moved budget lines to different agencies, claiming it’s creative accounting, not real cuts.
“They didn’t do what the people needed,” one protester said.
The Mayor and I started this process FAR apart on shrinking the NYPD’s budget and footprint and bringing transformational change to the department.
The Council fought hard to get where we are, but I know this is just a starting point, not an ending point. We need to go farther. https://t.co/aW8TmiBe42
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) July 1, 2020
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said he stands with the protesters and was also disappointed, saying he is committed to “holding the mayor’s feet on the fire on this and continue to work for reform.”
“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,” he continued.
More than $400 million will be slashed from the department’s budget, with that money earmarked for summer youth programs, education, and family and social services.
Another $500 million in capital will be shifted toward youth recreation centers and expanding broadband in NYCHA houses.READ MORE: Man Allegedly Armed With Taser, Large Knife Arrested At Washington Square Park
The NYPD’s July class of more than 1,100 recruits is canceled, overtime will be reduced, and crossing guards, school safety and homeless outreach will be shifted out of the department to other agencies.
Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the budget Wednesday.
“We found a way to keep our patrol strength consistent and keep people safe, while saving a lot of money and reducing overtime costs,” de Blasio said.
“In a moment when New Yorkers, with the entire nation, are demanding a reimagining of public safety, a reckoning with systemic injustices and inequities, the city falls far short with a budget that misses the moment of need.”
FULL STATEMENT ON FY2021 BUDGET: pic.twitter.com/D8j4wChQue
— Office of the Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams (@nycpa) July 1, 2020
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says he can block tax collections to fund the budget. He doesn’t support the budget, because it doesn’t include an NYPD hiring freeze.
“They’re saying that we can’t hire new teachers, we can’t hire new guidance counselors, new social work. We can’t do anything in this city except add on 1,000 police officers. That is the wrong message that we are sending,” Williams said.
While some protesters said they will continue to occupy the space outside City Hall to keep the momentum going, others said they plan on fighting for police reform in different ways.MORE NEWS: NYPD Detective Injured In 2017 Vehicular Attack Honored At Islanders Game
“Protesters have not gotten what they want yet and they’re going to continue to fight until they do,” Nina Demeo said.
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