In wake of nationwide protests against police brutality and calls to defund the police, the New York City Council is pushing to slash $1 billion from the New York Police Department (NYPD).
The council released a proposal Friday calling to cut spending from the NYPD in the fiscal 2021 budget. In a statement, the council acknowledged that the “unprecedented” cut would be an “ambitious goal.”
“We believe that we can and should work to get to $1 billion in cuts to New York City’s police spending in the Fiscal 2021 budget, an unprecedented reduction that would not only limit the scope of the NYPD, but also show our commitment towards moving away from the failed policing policies of the past,” reads the statement.
“There is no doubt that this is an ambitious goal, but it is one that the time we are in calls for–both here in New York City and nationwide.”
The statement also identifies areas where the budget could be cut, which includes reducing uniform headcount, cutting overtime, and shifting responsibilities away from the NYPD. That money would then be redirected towards community initiatives.
“As we do this, we must prioritize the most impacted communities and hear their demands and needs across all areas during this budget process,” reads the statement.
According to CBS New York, the Police Benevolent Association criticized the move, saying: “For decades, every time a city agency failed at its task, the city’s answer was to take the job away and give it to the NYPD. If the City Council wants to give responsibilities back to those failing agencies, that’s their choice. But they will bear the blame for every new victim, for every New Yorker in need of help who falls through the cracks. They won’t be able to throw cops under the bus anymore.”
The move comes as protesters continue to flood the streets, demanding police reform following the death of George Floyd by the hands of Minneapolis police. In response, the city councils in Minneapolis and San Francisco are also pushing to slash police budgets.