#DefundNYPD Campaign: Council Budget Vote Fails to Cut at least $1B from NYPD to Invest in Black, Latinx & other Communities of Color During Pandemic
Budget deploys fuzzy math and exempts NYPD from hiring freeze as teachers, social service and other essential workers and programs are left out to dry
New York, NY (July 1, 2020) – Today, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), the unprecedented campaign uniting New York’s organizing and advocacy organizations to end police violence and imagine a future of safety without relying on police – and the coordinator of the coalition of 200 organizations demanding #DefundNYPD for #NYCBudgetJustice – issued the following statement following the City Council’s budget vote:
“It’s outrageous that even during a global pandemic, the New York City Council decided to protect the NYPD’s bloated $6 billion budget instead of investing in Black, Latinx and other communities of color who continue to bear the brunt of COVID-19 and police violence,” said Anthonine Pierre, spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform and Deputy Director of Brooklyn Movement Center. “It’s pathetic that some Councilmembers continue to falsely claim they cut $1B from the NYPD budget, even though Council Speaker Johnson clearly conceded that this wasn’t true, Comptroller Stringer slammed the funny math as a “a bait and switch”, and our coalition has been telling everyone about the Mayor & Speaker’s fake cuts and budget tricks for weeks.
“We won’t fall for Mayor de Blasio and the City Council’s funny math or lies to try to trick New Yorkers into thinking they made $1 billion in direct cuts to the NYPD’s almost $6 billion FY21 expense budget – or that there is any sizeable reinvestment in our communities from fake cuts. As noted in yesterday’s statement, these budget tricks are protecting and giving special treatment to the NYPD, blocking meaningful reinvestments in communities that have been defunded by years, and do nothing to shrink the outsized power and damaging impact of the NYPD. The budget that was passed are in direct contradiction with the movement’s demands.
“Some Councilmembers tried to excuse their backwards votes to protect the NYPD’s budget by claiming to speak for Black communities and erasing the leadership of the many Black folks and organizations who have been leading the charge to #DefundNYPD in New York City. It's disrespectful to give speeches about what Black people want when too many of these Councilmembers wouldn’t take the calls of Black organizers who are from New York City and organize Black people.
“The City Council failed New Yorkers today. Instead of shrinking policing, the Council moved cops from the NYPD to other agencies, refused to institute a hiring freeze on police and failed to take meaningful steps to shrink the NYPD’s massive and abusive presence in our communities. We are proud of our members and other New Yorkers from every background, borough and walk of life who have taken to the streets in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis – sleeping at City Hall, contacting their elected officials and demanding an immediate end to the NYPD’s insidious, systemic violence. Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, and City Councilmembers - we are keeping score. We will continue to fight for true justice for our communities, and for a budget that provides New Yorkers with the resources and services that we deserve.”
Background on #NYCBudgetJustice & #DefundNYPD campaign
In his April 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 received special protections in the proposed executive budget.
In response, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and their #NYCBudgetJustice coalition of close to 200 local and national organizations have been demanding that at least $1 billion be cut directly 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 has demanded that cuts include removing police from social service and school roles, as well as reduce the massive and bloated headcount of uniformed officers, outlined in this report. 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.