New Yorkers Demand City Council Last Year’s Promises of Cuts to NYPD's Budget & Reallocation Of Funds To Non-Police Health & Safety Solutions
Today, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) members, Brooklyn Movement Center, Citizen Action of NY, DRUM, Girls for Gender Equity, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, Justice Committee, Make the Road New York, VOCAL-NY, and NYC Council Member Brad Lander, and others held a rally and press conference as part of the #NYCBudgetJustice campaign. Organizers, activists, and elected officials called on the City Council to:
- Uphold last year’s promises to cut at least $1B from NYPD’s expense budget and redirect those monies to non-police health and safety solutions in the New York City budget for Fiscal Year 2022 – in order to pass a budget that sets NYC up to have a just transition out of the pandemic.
- Require NYPD transparency in the budget.
- Make public when the budget vote will happen.
The Council must approve the FY22 budget by June 30, 2021, and the demands from organizers came just one day before City Council’s first stated meeting of the month. Speakers at the rally called for City Council to announce when a vote on the budget would take place.
Below are statements from Victoria Davis, sister of Delrawn Small, and organizers and participants of the rally and press conference, calling on City Council to cut the NYPD’s budget and reallocate funds to non-police health and safety solutions:
Victoria Davis, (she/her) sister of Delrawn Small: “The NYPD killed my brother Delrawn Small in 2016 and the officer who did it, Wayne Isaacs, is still on the NYPD’s payroll today, he even took home more than $110,000 last year. For nearly 5 years, I have been paying the salary of the man who murdered my brother while Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have delayed accountability and have refused to fire Isaacs. Now, the NYPD is stalling to hand over all the files to the CCRB. Mayor de Blasio needs to get the NYPD to turn over all files to the CCRB so a discipline trial can be scheduled and Wayne Isaacs can be fired, and the City Council must cut the NYPD’s budget so New Yorkers stop paying for the salaries of officers who kill, brutalize and disrespect us and our communities.”
Anthonine Pierre (she/her), spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform and Deputy Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center: “We are demanding that Mayor de Blasio and the City Council cut the NYPD’s budget and invest in non-police health and safety strategies, not only because it’s the right thing to do to keep communities safe, but because it is what New Yorkers were promised last year and never received. We deserve resources and programs that actually keep us safe from violence. The pandemic is not over yet and the only way we’re going to make sure Black, Latinx and other communities of color like Central Brooklyn don’t get left behind as NYC re-opens is to invest in our futures. This means fully funding community based anti-violence programs, investing in accessible health and mental health care, and removing the NYPD from non-police roles in schools, homeless outreach, and so much more.”
Council Member Brad Lander: “NYC already has more far police per capita than most American cities, and spends more on the NYPD than we do on the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Homeless Services, Housing Preservation and Development, and Youth and Community Development combined. More police does not mean more safety. To be serious about achieving better public safety for all communities in our city, we must invest in proven strategies, including gun violence interrupter programs, affordable housing, health care, and job opportunities that communities need to thrive."
Anthony Feliciano, member of the Justice Committee: “Imagine the jobs that could be created and the health, mental health, housing and education services that could be provided if we take $1billion from the NYPD. These are the kinds of services and resources that save lives. Refusing to defund NYPD is a choice to overinvest in policing and criminalize our communities. It’s confirmation that you believe the lives of Black, Latinx, and other low-income NYers of color are disposable. And if you make that choice, know that we will fight back, and we will win!”
Keli Young (she/her), Civil Rights Campaign Coordinator, VOCAL-NY: "Policing in this country has always been, and continues to be, a threat to the safety and well-being of Black, Brown, and low income communities. Divesting from the NYPD is a necessary step in creating a NYC that is caring, compassionate, and truly responsive to the needs of its residents."
Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director, Asian American Federation: “After an unprecedented year and amidst the increasing crisis of hate and violence against Asian New Yorkers, this moment calls for us to reimagine what community safety looks like and build community-centered solutions. We need to invest in reporting tools for those who don't speak English, support victims to heal, increase access to mental health services for the victims, witnesses and the perpetrators to help them to stop harming others. Our Hope Against Hate campaign will engage small businesses, houses of worship, nonprofits and all stakeholders to have a vested interest in what safety looks like in their neighborhood. We, New Yorkers, are the Hope Against Hate!”
D’Angelo Cameron, Senior Digital Engagement Manager, Common Justice: “At Common Justice, we know that community is what keeps us safe, not police and prisons. The data is clear and has been for some time: We can better address gun violence by investing in community interventions and not in policing and mass incarceration.”
Last year, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and our #NYCBudgetJustice coalition of over 200 local and national organizations demanded 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. While Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson said they committed to defunding the NYPD by $1B, they instead used funny math and budget tricks to try to mislead New Yorkers, but one thing is clear: NYPD’s budget for FY21 was not meaningfully reduced.
Now, communities are demanding that City Council pass a budget that invests in health & safety --- not more failed policing strategies. We are calling on the Mayor and City Council to cut the NYPD’s budget and reallocate funds to non-police health and safety solutions in FY 22.
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.Topics: NYC Budget Justice