Occupation Of New York City Hall To Defund The Police

| Resist!

Above photo: From Twitter, @newyorkist.

NOTE:  On June 23, people marched to City Hall in New York City to demand a $1 billion cut from the police budget.

They set a camp up outside City Hall and over 100 people spent the night.

– MF

New York City – More than 170 local & national organizations, brought together by Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), released a follow-up to their April letter calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to cut at least $1 billion directly from the NYPD expense budget by the June 30th deadline and redirect resources for FY21 to core social programs that are essential for Black, Latinx and other communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the letter released today, CPR and the #NYCBudgetJustice coalition make it clear that the call “to cut at least $1 billion directly from the NYPD FY21 expense budget is the floor, not the ceiling.” The demands of the group echo those laid out in the policy report on #NYCBudgetJustice released by CPR last week. The report provides a clearcut framework on how to defund the NYPD and redirect funds to critical services, programs & infrastructure.  

“Since the release of our initial letter, pressure has grown from organizations, advocates and New Yorkers to #DefundNYPD,” said Anthonine Pierre, CPR spokesperson (she/her) and Brooklyn Movement Center Deputy Director. “This effort represents New Yorkers taking a stand for ourselves and our communities. No more funny business, fuzzy math or musical budget chairs from the Mayor, Speaker or City Council. At least $1 billion must be cut directly from the NYPD budget and that amount plus all related savings must be redirected to life-saving and life-affirming programs for Black, Latinx and other communities of color most deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The group’s demands call on Mayor De Blasio, Speaker Johnson and the Council to:

1. #DefundNYPD by at least $1 billion in the NYPD’s FY21 expense budget — and for those monies to be redirected to core needs in Black, Latinx and other communities of color. This will be essential for an equitable transition and recovery in the COVID-19 period.

2. Block increases of any NYPD budget lines in FY21 — and deny and cancel any new policing-related initiatives in the NYPD expense budget, other agency expense budgets, NYC general fund budget and in the capital budget plan.

3. Require increased NYPD budget transparency by including transparency-related terms and conditions in the budget passed for FY21, including disclosure of private sources of income for the NYPD that equal $5,000 or more per year, details of the specific purpose(s) those funds are used towards, and a full description and accounting of budget lines that those funds cover.

Recently, Speaker Johnson and other Council leaders pledged to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget in response to the #NYCBudgetJustice & #DefundNYPD movement. While this is a good start, today’s letter notes that “the movement’s call for [them] to cut at least $1 billion directly from the NYPD’s bloated, nearly $6 billion FY21 expense budget will not be satisfied by fuzzy math or musical budget chairs.”

The full letter to Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson and City Councilmembers can be found here.

More Background Information on #NYCBudgetJustice

In his FY2021 executive budget proposal, Mayor Bill de Blasio called for devastating cuts to core social services, programs and infrastructure that are crucial to communities of color and have a history of under-investment. The proposed cuts would severely damage education, youth programs (including the Summer Youth Employment Program) and other agencies that are essential to the well-being of NYC’s communities. Despite these substantial cuts, the NYPD budget was largely untouched and even receives special protections in the proposed executive budget.

In response, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and their #NYCBudgetJustice coalition are demanding that at least $1 billion be cut from the NYPD FY21 expense budget and redirected to core services programs and infrastructure for Black, Latinx and other communities of color to have a chance at an equitable COVID-19 recovery. CPR maintains that NYPD cuts can and should aid in NYC’s COVID-19 recovery, particularly for communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and police brutality.

About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.