In the Media

Activists in the U.S. claim partial victory in long battle to reform, defund police departments

Budget fights in New York and cities across the country bring gains, disappointments
CBC News

For the thousands of protesters who marched through the streets of New York for more than 30 consecutive days demanding changes in policing, the headlines emerging from the city's budget debate should have signalled victory.

"New York Police Department's budget has been slashed by $1 billion," wrote CNN.

"De Blasio Agrees to Cut NYPD Funding by $1 Billion," said the Wall Street Journal.

"NY City Council approves slashing $1B from NYPD budget," said Fox News.

A Budget that Either Clobbers or Coddles the NYPD

City Limits

Earlier this week, Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican Assemblymember from Staten Island who is running to unseat Democrat Max Rose from Congress, sent a missive to supporters. 

“Yesterday, wacko mayor Bill de Blasio announced he was caving to Max Rose and the other extreme leftists’ demand and cutting $1 billion from the NYPD budget.”

On Wednesday, after that budget passed in the wee hours of the morning amid an unusual level of dissent within the Council, Scott Roberts, senior director of criminal-justice campaigns at Color Of Change, described it differently.

New York mayor says he will slash police budget by $1 billion, activists aren’t buying it


On the eve of a budget showdown in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that he will cut $1 billion in funding for the New York Police Department in an attempt to meet the demands of protesters who have occupied and marched on City Hall over the past week.

The specifics of his plan, however, are hard to come by, and police reform activists are concerned that the mayor will work with the city council to hide parts of the police budget in mandates for other social services.

As US cities cut police budgets, the nation's largest force faces financial reckoning


New York (CNN)At a time of intense scrutiny of law enforcement since George Floyd's death, a movement to slash police department budgets nationwide is gaining momentum in the midst of police reform efforts and an uptick in violent crime in some major cities.

The New York Police Department, the nation's largest police force, faces its financial reckoning this week, with its 2021 budget due before Tuesday.

Drug Arrests Still Costing NYC Millions As Residents Beg For Aid, Freedom For City Families


As nationwide talks and protests continue around the nature and future of US police, a new brief from drug reform advocates reveals that New York City — where many of the country’s biggest protests have occurred — remains a hotbed for low-level drug arrests of mostly Black and Brown residents, costing city coffers millions.

The fight for transparency in police misconduct, explained

New York’s repeal of section 50-a — which allowed police to shield misconduct records — is a big win for activists, but there is more work to be done.

In 2012, Ramarley Graham, an 18-year-old black teenager, was fatally shot in his own home by a white New York City police officer, Richard Haste. Haste and other officers had followed Graham home from a nearby bodega and forced their way in, later saying that they believed Graham was carrying a gun. Graham was, in fact, unarmed.

NYPD Eliminated Their Plainclothes Officer Unit — But This Disguises A Larger Problem

Refinery 29

Following weeks of protests around the country, and non-stop protests in all boroughs of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the New York Police Department (NYPD) will be disbanding its anti-crime unit of plainclothes officers. Going forward, according to the announcement, officers will not be on active duty wearing civilian clothing and instead will be in uniform.

What $1 Billion of the NYPD’s Budget Could Do for Housing

Investing in NYCHA and permanent affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers are just some of the suggestions.

As New Yorkers protested against racism and police brutality over the past few weeks, the NYPD was caught on video clashing with demonstrators several times: shoving a 20-year-old woman against the pavement, hitting individuals with batons, and driving into a crowd with an SUV.

How the U.S. could reform police in response to protests against brutality and racism


Repeated police killings of black Americans have sparked the widest push for law enforcement reform in years. 

The nationwide movement fueled by George Floyd’s death last month has already kick-started change in cities and states. The coming months will help to determine just how far officials go in reshaping departments — and whether Congress will join state and local lawmakers in taking steps to overhaul policing. 

Policymakers across the country have targeted several major areas in their reform discussions, including: