NYC Leaders Engage in “Budget Tricks” to Protect NYPD Funding

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[NYPD Budget\NYC Council]
Roberts: "Mayor De Blasio and the New York City Council’s “cuts” to the NYPD’s budget are a publicity stunt masquerading as reform...last night’s vote does not defund the police; it protects them with convoluted budget tricks."
Photo: YouTube

Is the NYC Council and Mayor de Blasio engaging in legislative tricks to protect the NYPD's massive budget?

The following was written by Color Of Change's Scott Roberts denouncing Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Council leaders for refusing to heed the calls for reduction of the budget of the NYPD. The NYPD's fiscal year 2020 (operational) budget was approximately 5.6 billion.

Mayor De Blasio and the New York City Council’s “cuts” to the NYPD’s budget are a publicity stunt masquerading as reform.

The budget, which officials are touting as divestment from police, simply shuffles funding for aggressive policing and heavy-handed enforcement out of one departmental budget and into another. Despite the Mayor and Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s rhetoric, last night’s vote does not defund the police; it protects them with convoluted budget tricks.

The move serves as a bad example to the rest of the nation and a warning to activists across the country who are demanding systemic change in response to systemic racism within policing that is killing Black people. Right now, with countless Black and Brown lives at stake and a chorus of protesters on the steps of City Hall, New York leaders have turned advocates’ demands for fairness, safety, and transparency into a game.

With this shameful budget agreement, the Mayor and the City Council have reminded New Yorkers that their allegiance to a racist, violent police force comes before the safety and well-being of their constituents. Elections are coming and we are committed to holding these elected officials accountable to the actual communities they purport to represent.

Defunding the police means dismantling the police department -- not lavishing public funds on officers under a different budget line. Our leaders must be willing to divest from dysfunctional policing and invest in community-based public safety solutions, and we must hold them accountable when they fail to do so.

Mayor De Blasio and Speaker Johnson may have taken us for fools, but with the Council’s approval of this budget, they must remember that we’re watching.

Scott Roberts, Senior Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns at Color Of Change.

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