Budget: New York City council approves police department fund cut
NEW YORK (US) – There will be cuts to police funding in New York city after the City Council voted on Tuesday night to pass the 2021 budget, which had proposed the slash. This comes after weeks of discussions with Mayor Bill de Blasio. However, some lawmakers said it fell short of a $1 billion reduction which was demanded by protesters.
The city council said the austere budgets cuts $484 million from the New York Police Department’s budget of $6 billion if it sticks to new overtime limits.
As much as $354 million of police funds is slated to be transferred to other city agencies, said the council.
Most of the 32 lawmakers voted to pass the cuts via teleconferencing while 17 opposed it. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 demonstrators demanding the shrinking of a police department which they see as brutal and racist, continued their week-long agitation outside an empty city hall.
According to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the mayor and some council members did not agree to a freeze on police hiring.
“I know that there are many who are disappointed,” he said. “I am disappointed as well. I wanted us to go deeper.”
“Today’s budget agreement is one of necessity,” he said, urging lawmakers to vote.
The death of George Floyd triggered nationwide protests against police brutality, giving rise to demands to slash funds of police departments. Thus, the mayor was forced to withdraw his original proposal of reducing NYPD funding by less than 1% while slashing youth services.
De Blasio said, “It’s time to do the work of reform, to think deeply about where our police have to be in the future.”
“Are there going to be critics on all sides? Of course. But I’m convinced this is real change.”
Anthonine Pierre of the Communities United for Police Reform, a collective of 200 groups that originally demanded a $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s budget, said, “Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson are using funny math and budget tricks to try to mislead New Yorkers.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field