black lives matter by Rinoa Wong July 11, 2020
Since late May, Black Lives Matter protests in NYC have called for the defunding of police. The death of George Floyd spurred civil unrest that called for one main thing: Defund NYPD.
Defunding the police doesn’t necessarily mean completely restricting their funds. It means reallocating or redirecting funds to other government agencies. It does not mean abolish the police completely.
The 2020 fiscal year suggests New York City will spend a total of $10.9 billion dollars on the NYPD.
This NYPD’s operating budget totals $5.6 billion dollars, making it the third-largest agency operating budget. As a result of the pressure of protestors, New York City cut $1 billion from the police budget.
Within this $1 billion dollar cut, the City Council plans to redirect some of those funds to budget “badly needed infrastructure.”
The Coalition in City Council wants this $1 billion to be used to suspend the hiring of new police officers by 3%. They also want to cut uniformed overtime by 5% and cut non-personnel expenses by 4%.
The Communities United for Police Reform wants the money to be used to cut overtime, public relations and surveillance technology use, and cap uniformed officers. It will also fire abusive officers and deduct settlement payouts from the operating budget as a punitive measure. It will also cut modified duty.
The proposed cut will also freeze new hires, cancel new cadet classes, and cancel cadet training programs. It will also reduce uniformed officers by about five percent and remove officers from schools, transit systems, homeless outreach, and mental health response programs.
Since the proposal passed on July 1st, people are wondering where these proposed funds are actually going.
It turns out that the proposed budget cut made by the city council is still funding the police, just a little more discreetly. Their new budget boosts enforcement against all other drivers in a blatant bid to fund the city government with excessive law enforcement.
This new budget reassigned 165 traffic-enforcement agents to the Department of Transportation, meant to assign tickets for cars that are “blocking the bus lane” or “double parking in a bike lane”.
However, it is clear that they have not done their research. These tickets and fines are directly related to the revenue of many cities’ police departments. When the citizens are unable to pay, this builds tension between the police department and the citizens.
The city council is doing everything but adhere to what protestors want, even when we’ve spelled it out for them.