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NYCLU Statement on Hollow Police Defunding Proposal

NEW YORK – Today Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Johnson reached a budget deal that purports to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget, but in reality only shuffles police officers into other agencies without reinvesting police dollars into impacted communities and vital services. The cosmetic changes in the proposed budget make no significant reductions in NYPD’s headcount and betray commitments from the mayor and speaker to defund the police by instead embedding law enforcement officers further into agencies like the Department of Education and the Department of Homeless Services. In response, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement from Executive Director, Donna Lieberman:

“Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson’s proposal creates the illusion that the NYPD is cutting $1 billion from their budget. But, for the most part, their changes simply move police officers to other agencies, make hollow cuts, and do not reinvest in impacted communities with effective solutions to medical, educational, and social problems.

“New Yorkers demanding cuts to the NYPD’s funding will not be satisfied by cosmetic changes. Police officers need to stop harassing demonstrators. Broken windows policing must end. We need more trained social workers, conflict mitigators, and outreach workers. But above all, we must eliminate excessive harmful contact with police,  and the most effective way to that is to significantly cut the number of officers on the force. This budget fails to do that.  

“Politicians cannot proclaim that Black Lives Matter and condemn the NYPD’s systemic violence without action. If the budget does not significantly reduce the number of officers and reinvest savings into communities, council members must vote no.”

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Civil Liberties Union