New York’s City Council on Tuesday approved an $88 billion austerity budget that purports to cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department. But critics say the move fails to meet a core demand of protesters for a reinvestment of NYPD funds into social programs. In a statement, New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “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 that the exact same police remain in schools.” Early this morning, dozens of police officers in riot gear surrounded a peaceful encampment of protesters who’ve remained camped outside City Hall for over a week. This is Charles Khan, one of the protesters.
Charles Khan: “We know that when we look at safe communities, they don’t have some magic key or magic code for safety. What they have are resources. They have like the best — some of the best public schools in the country. And they don’t have police roaming around their neighborhoods.”