The New York City Council has approved a $1 billion budget cut for the city’s police department.
“Today is not a day of celebration, we are not in a time of celebration, it is the time of necessity and today’s budget agreement is one of necessity,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson told media.
“Heart-wrenching, impossible choices had to be made. It was not easy,” he added.
The $1 billion budget cut will include $352 million in overtime and reducing the force by 1,163 officers.
While the budget passed by a vote 32-17, there were a few surprising votes. Democratic Councilman Donovan Richards voted against the proposal to much surprise.
“My concern with this budget is not just about the $1 billion cut, but more about the NYPD’s culture,” Richards said.
“A $1 billion budget cut can’t address the racism that runs rampant in the NYPD,” he continued.
500 protesters are camping overnight outside New York City Hall demanding the NYPD cut its budget by $1 billion pic.twitter.com/ds9St7xDx2
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 26, 2020
In contrast to Richards, Johnson was hoping to see larger cuts made to the budget and a bigger reduction made to the police force. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez echoed these same sentiments earlier in the week.
“Defunding police means defunding police. It does not mean budget tricks or funny math. It does not mean moving school police officers from the NYPD budget to the Department of Education’s budget so the exact same police remain in schools,” she argued.
“It does not mean counting cuts in overtime as cuts, even as NYPD ignores every attempt by City Council to curb overtime spending and overspends on overtime anyways. The fight to defund policing continues,” she ended.
Ocasio-Cortez’s point was carried through the approved budget. Of the $1 billion budget cut, $349.5 million included moving school officers and crossing guards to other city agencies.
Still, the budget was not a favorite of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s. On Tuesday, he appeared to be in cooperation with the council’s wishes.
“It won’t be easy. We’re asking a lot of the NYPD, but the NYPD is up to the mission. I don’t have a doubt in my mind,” he said.