New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) confirmed Monday that he will slash $1 billion from the budget of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), despite a surge in shootings in the wake of protests and violent unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd.
“I am excited to say that we have a plan that can achieve real reform, that can achieve real redistribution, and at the same time ensure that we keep our city safe,” De Blasio told reporters, according to Politico.
“Everything was with an eye to safety, so we will be able to ensure the patrol strength we need. We will be able to ensure that school safety can do its job. The school safety issue would be addressed over several years,” the mayor continued.
“I was skeptical at first, and wanted to see how it could all come together,” he added. “A lot of painstaking work occurred to figure out the right way to do things.”
De Blasio’s remarks come after Politico reported Sunday that night the mayor’s office greenlighted the cuts, which were proposed by New York City City Council members:
“The deal involves moving school safety agents, who are unarmed but wear police uniforms, into the Department of Education, canceling a July class of roughly 1,100 police recruits, and shifting certain homeless outreach operations away from police control,” the news outlet detailed.
The city’s budget must be approved by midnight Tuesday.
Anthonine Pierre, a press representative for Communities United for Police Reform, slammed De Blasio’s plan to cut funding for the NYPD: “Mayor de Blasio and Speaker [Corey] Johnson are using funny math and budget tricks to try to mislead New Yorkers into thinking that they plan to meet the movement’s demands for at least $1B in direct cuts”
“This is a lie,” Pierre added.
Plans to slash funding come after the New York Post reported that shootings in New York City surged following the NYPD’s recent decision to dismantle its plainclothes anti-crime unit. In the last nine days, 110 people have reportedly been shot in the Big Apple.