New Yorkers, Elected Officials, Rally To Demand City Council Vote No On City Budget That Increases NYPD Funding
Today, the #NYCBudgetJustice coalition, with families of New Yorkers killed by police, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) members and partners, and elected officials held a rally and press conference to call on City Council members to vote against the FY22 budget that increases the NYPD’s bloated $6 billion expense budget, as compared to the FY21 budget adopted last June.
Family members of Amadou Diallo, Mohamed Bah, Delrawn Small and Anthony Baez – along with other coalition members and elected officials including State Senator Julia Salazar, denounced the funny math and budget tricks used by Mayor de Blasio and the City Council last year to mislead New Yorkers into thinking that $1 billion had been cut from the NYPD’s budget. On paper, only about $200M was cut in FY21 and spending reports indicate that at the end of FY21 the NYPD will have exceeded their budget, including blowing through their overtime cap by hundreds of millions.
Following NYPD violence and abuse of authority at Pride celebrations this past weekend, and ahead of the City Council’s vote on the budget, coalition members reiterated their demands for Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Corey Johnson, and the City Council to:
1. Follow through on last year’s promise to cut at least $1 billion from the NYPD FY22 expense budget.
2. Deny and cancel all new policing-related initiatives and staffing.
3. Require NYPD transparency in the budget.
4. Cancel the citywide expansion of a counterproductive and unproven mental health response pilot and redirect the $100M+ to culturally competent mental health infrastructure & programs.
CPR’s latest report, Path to a Safe, Healthy, and Just Recovery: Cut NYPD’s Budget & Invest in Communities, details communities’ demands for the FY22 budget.
Below are statements from Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah (killed by NYPD in 2012), Kadiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo (killed in 1999) Victoria Davis, sister of Delrawn Small (killed by NYPD in 2016), New York City Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, NYS Senator Julia Salazar, and members and partners of the NYC Budget Justice Coalition and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) following the rally.
Reem Ramadan (she/her), spokesperson, Communities United for Police Reform: “Whether you’re looking at the escalation and crises the NYPD manufactured this weekend at Pride celebrations or the violence they’ve enacted on Black, Latinx, and other communities of color for decades, one thing is clear: the NYPD should not be rewarded with more funding in this year’s budget. City Council must invest in what communities have been demanding—non-police safety strategies, investments in culturally competent mental health infrastructure and programs, and to defund the NYPD by at least the $1 billion that was promised last year.”
Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah: "I am here to call on the City Council to vote no on the budget if it increases the FY22 NYPD budget; and I’m calling for them to cancel the NYPD co-response teams and put that money towards strong mental health programs in Black and Latinx communities. Mayor de Blasio has chosen not to listen. City Council must cut the NYPD’s budget and vote against any budget that gives even one more dime to the NYPD than was given last year.”
Kadiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo: “It is unacceptable for elected officials to say they stand with the families and care about our loved ones’ lives and then turn around and approve a budget that expands resources for the criminalizing and brutalizing of our families and communities. To every City Council Member who has ever said my son's name or claimed to seek an end to police violence – I am calling on you to stand with the families and vote NO on any FY22 budget that expands funding the NYPD.”
Victoria Davis, sister of Delrawn Small: ““This weekend will be 5 years since my brother, Delrawn Small was murdered by NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs. Since 2016, the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio have refused to fire Isaacs, delayed investigations and even now are refusing to turn files over to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Isaacs has taken home over $350,000 in our tax dollars since murdering Delrawn and the NYPD just keeps getting rewarded with more funding in their budget. The City Council needs to understand that if you keep funding the NYPD, it only emboldens them to continue to be violent toward us. We need City Councilmembers to vote no on the budget if it provides any increase in money to the NYPD.”
Council Member Antonio Reynoso: "I have spent my entire career in public service working to create a society where we no longer need to rely on armed government agencies to keep our communities safe. We know that the safest communities in our City are those with the least police; they also happen to be neighborhoods with good schools, quality housing, access to healthcare, and well-paying jobs. The root cause of our public safety issues has always been poverty. After eight years of fighting for the programs our communities need to thrive and continuously being met with budgets that fail to do this while handing more and more resources to our police department, I have to draw a red line. I am calling on the Mayor and Speaker to not increase the NYPD budget by a single dollar over FY21 and that we direct the necessary resources into our communities to facilitate a just and equitable recovery - I will vote against any budget that fails to do so."
Jolie, Youth Leader with Make The Road New York: "We demand the City to change its budget priorities when it comes to our schools and our future. For a safe and just return to schools, we demand a budget that divests from the NYPD and reinvests that funding in restorative justice, guidance counselors, and citywide social, emotional, and mental health supports for all students."
Yehudah Webster, Community Organizer, Jews For Racial & Economic Justice: “Increasing the NYPD budget is a slap in the face of every single New Yorker who has been victimized by the NYPD or lost a loved one to police violence. It’s a slap in the face of everyone who marched last summer after George Floyd was murdered, and in the year since. It’s a slap in the face for all of us who want a New York City budget that invests in real solutions to end violence and deliver safety.”
In the spring of 2020, CPR members and partners launched the #NYCBudgetJustice campaign and collectively created the conditions that forced Mayor de Blasio and the City Council to commit to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s expense budget. Unfortunately, Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson used funny math and budget tricks to make it seem like they were cutting $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget. However, the math was not there and the NYPD’s budget was not meaningfully reduced.
CPR’s latest report, Path to a Safe, Healthy, and Just Recovery: Cut NYPD’s Budget & Invest in Communities, details the extent of these fake cuts, as well as communities’ demands for the FY22 budget.
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