It’s been 10 valiant nights of protesting against police brutality following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. For the first time, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made a promise on Sunday (June 7) to cut the New York City Police Department’s funding. The funding will instead be redirected towards youth initiatives and social services.
De Blasio did not say how much of the NYPD’s budget would be cut, but Black Lives Matter Brooklyn, as well as former and current staffers of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, have rallied for him to reduce it by $1 billion, according to The New York Times. The NYPD has an annual budget of $6 billion.
“We’re committed to seeing a shift of funding to youth services, to social services, that will happen literally in the course of the next three weeks, but I’m not going to go into detail because it is subject to negotiation and we want to figure out what makes sense,” de Blasio said during the press conference.
Mayor de Blasio and the rest of the City Council are scheduled to evaluate the details of the budget deadline on July 1. They are expected to address several policing reforms, such as a change to the 50-A law, which is a state law that prevents public access to police officers’ disciplinary records.
Early Sunday morning, he announced the lifting of NYC’s curfew on Twitter following cries by New York residents accusing police officers of using violence to enforce the curfew among peaceful protesters — many of whom have been caught on camera.
Police union president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, Ed Mullins, expressed doubt that de Blasio would stick to his word.
“I know he just recently said that he wasn’t going to that,” Mullins told The New York Times. “I guess, let’s see what he says on Monday and what his next decision is going to be.”
As the “defund the police” movement gains steam, cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco have already taken steps to shift police funds towards social initiatives.