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Communities United for Police Reform Statement: State Budget Endangers Public Safety, Criminalizes New Yorkers, and Fails to Protect Homeless People Vulnerable to Coronavirus

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), the largest, most diverse coalition fighting for public safety and police accountability in New York, released the following statement about the New York state budget being voted on in Albany:

“This state budget endangers public safety, expands criminalization of New Yorkers, and fails to protect homeless New Yorkers who are especially vulnerable to coronavirus. Under cover of a pandemic, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders are pushing through harmful austerity measures, budget cuts and conservative policies that will devastate and leave millions of New Yorkers less safe,” said Carolyn Martinez-Class, a spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform (CPR).

“Cuomo wants to police his way out of this pandemic. That’s reactionary and harmful – not the progressive leadership our communities need. This state budget does nothing to help New Yorkers living on the streets and in shelters - and others in communities of color who may be wrongfully arrested, criminalized, fined and incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo’s push for a larger law enforcement presence in public spaces and more interactions between police and New Yorkers will increase the spread of coronavirus, instead of reducing it,” said Martinez-Class of CPR.

“The state legislature should have used its considerable power to block Cuomo’s harmful expansion of criminalization, his neglect of homeless and other low-income New Yorkers, and his concessions to racist fear-mongering championed by police unions to roll back bail reform. Equally important, the state legislature should have prioritized immediately housing the homeless and housing insecure in vacant apartments and hotel rooms, and making food, healthcare, bathrooms, washing stations, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant cleaning products available to all homeless New Yorkers living in shelters and on the streets. But none of that happened. New York is less safe and more unequal after this budget,” said Martinez-Class of CPR.


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.