New York City to cut police budget, but some say it's not enough


NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed with the City Council to slash the New York Police Department’s spending in the 2021 fiscal year’s budget, which is due to be passed on Tuesday, but some lawmakers said it fell short of a $1 billion cut they had demanded.

Nearly $484 million will be cut from the NYPD’s budget, while another $354 million will be transferred to other city agencies, with the mayor shifting oversight of school safety officers from the NYPD to the Department of Education, the City Council said.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson disputed de Blasio’s characterization that $1 billion was being “shifted away” from the NYPD budget.

“This isn’t a billion dollars, and I’m not going to pretend that it is,” he told reporters on Tuesday, saying the mayor and some lawmakers had refused to budge on significant reductions in the number of police officers. “It’s important to be honest.”

The budget negotiations were shaped by two crises that have shaken the city.

The coronavirus pandemic created a $9 billion shortfall in revenue, leading to deep cuts across city agencies, with the mayor warning he may have to lay off 22,000 municipal workers.

And a month of nationwide protests against police violence gave new political heft to calls to defund police departments, forcing de Blasio to shift from his original April proposal of cutting NYPD funding by less than 1% while slashing youth services. Thousands of protesters began camping outside City Hall last week in what they called an occupation, demanding that $1 billion be redirected from the NY... (Read more)

Submitted 14 days ago

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