Mayor de Blasio announces $1 billion in cuts to the NYPD budget, AOC says it’s not enough

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NY City Council have reached an agreement to cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget next year but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it isn’t enough.

The mayor appears to have come up with a plan that will shift a big portion of that $1 billion in funding to another city agency without actually cutting anything. But the remainder of the cuts still mean less overtime and that the city won’t be hiring nearly 1,200 new officers:

The mayor and the City Council agreed on Monday to reach that $1 billion in cuts by, among other things, canceling the planned hiring of 1,163 police officers.

But slightly less than half of the $1 billion in cuts will come from a budgetary sleight of hand: School safety officers, who are currently under the auspices of the Police Department, will be moved to the authority of the Department of Education, according to three council members familiar with the plan.

The funding changes to the Police Department fell short of the demands from protesters who have been camping out at City Hall Park for nearly a week.

Like the protesters, several members of the City Council were also not satisfied with the cuts:

Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat who represents the Upper East Side, said he planned to vote no on the budget, in part because he said the police cuts were insufficient…

“We are not seeing a meaningful reduction in head count and the changes that people are literally marching in the streets for,” he said. “I don’t think anyone marching for Black Lives Matter is doing it to see school safety agents moved from the N.Y.P.D. budget to the schools budget.”

AOC released a statement which was similarly critical of the cuts: “Defunding the police means defunding the police. It does not mean budget tricks or funny math.”

Inbox: @AOC weighs in quite critically on developing de Blasio-City Council NYPD budget deal > pic.twitter.com/QRZ3hvmBU6

— Ben Max (@TweetBenMax) June 30, 2020

As the NY Times points out, the mayor is under pressure from a new Occupy movement has set itself up outside City Hall and is demanding more than $1 billion in cuts to the NYPD budget. Occupy City Hall has been camping out for a few days so far. Yesterday a shoving match broke out between police and protesters:

#OccupyCityHall THE NYPD ARE RUSHING US AND BEATING US 4 HOURS BEFORE THE BUDGET VOTE #DefundThePolice pic.twitter.com/60MMzkfSXF

— decolonize marcial (@deanospameano) June 30, 2020

Here’s what the protest area looked like today:

Protestors have taken over the Brooklyn bridge city hall station pic.twitter.com/0ko3v6H9lu

— Bowen Xiao (@BowenXiao_) June 30, 2020

Protestors have defaced the Surrogate’s Court building. pic.twitter.com/RjKsOH7WWH

— Bowen Xiao (@BowenXiao_) June 30, 2020

NOW: Line of NYPD officers forming in front of “Occupy City Hall” pic.twitter.com/ZFn0WCE5R3

— Bowen Xiao (@BowenXiao_) June 30, 2020

Spiderman shows up and delivers pizza’s to protestors. pic.twitter.com/8oFURCIwLc

— Bowen Xiao (@BowenXiao_) June 30, 2020

Part of me genuinely wonders why the mayor is even bothering to resist the protesters’ demands. Why not go all the way and simply announce a major cut in the size of the NYPD? He’d be hailed a hero by the occupy crowd for doing it. Of course the police would hate him for it but most of them seem to hate him already. It appears some small part of de Blasio’s brain realizes going full socialism on the NYPD would quickly prove to be a major disaster for the city on top of the coronavirus disaster it is still dealing with. Why else would he fight the tide like this?

The vote is supposed to take place today. If it happens, that will give the mayor a $1 billion talking point, but the far left won’t be satisfied so there’s no telling what they will do next. Last time Occupy staked a claim in New York we had to wait until there had been enough collective violence at camps around the country that police said enough was enough and cleared them out. After four shootings in 9 days, we appear to be reaching that point in Seattle’s CHOP zone but it could take a few weeks before we get there with Occupy City Hall.

In the meantime, some cops have already had enough. The NY Post reported over the weekend that 272 officers have put in retirement papers since George Floyd’s death:

The flurry of Finest farewells began after the police-involved killing of George Floyd on May 25, with 272 uniformed cops putting in retirement papers from then through June 24, the NYPD says.

That’s a 49 percent spike from the 183 officers who filed during the same period last year, according to the department.

An NYPD source suggested the recent departures could signal a coming crisis for the 36,000-member department, which also faces a $1 billion budget reduction amid the “defund the police” furor.

“We are worried about a surge in attrition reducing our headcount beyond what we can sustain without new recruits, and are afraid the City Council has not taken the surge into account,” he said.

There aren’t going to be any new recruits so it’s starting to look like the protesters will get the headcount reduction they are asking for.

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