Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D) of New York City had a news conference from City Hall this morning and announced that New York City will be moving funds in the budget from the New York Police Department to youth and social programs.
In addition to moving the funds, he said "There are much bigger and deeper reforms that have to have happen beyond that". And this is directly related to the disparities that are so painfully evident in this city and the disparities that were made so clear by the Coronavirus. When we publish the information, and this city was one of the ones to be the most transparent and blunt about the fact that there were profound disparities in the Coronavirus crisis, we said we would do a number of things differently. One of the things I did was to name a task force of city/government leaders, a task force on racial equity and inclusion to immediately determine steps that city government must take to start addressing disparities right now.
"There are many bigger things we must do over the next 18 months of this administration. But my charge to this task force was to figure out what could happen right now and then next 18 months ahead continue that work." He continued, "A whole set of specific changes that will be made to address disparities in terms of economics, health care, and other issues.”
DeBlasio mentioned his State of the State speech from February where he stated "Our young people don't need to be policed, they need to be reached. And that is the spirit of the reforms we are going to talk about today and beyond."
DeBlasio did not mention how the funding move would affect the NYPD, only stating "details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead.”
The announcement comes after DeBlasio tweeted yesterday that he was lifting the curfew in the City following peaceful protests on Friday. "New York City: We are lifting the curfew, effective immediately. Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city."
In a related incident, Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis left the city's protest yesterday after he spoke of reform and revamping the police department instead of defunding. The protestors shouted chanted "Go out, Jacob, Go Home".
Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary Department Housing and Urban Development was on CNN and made the following statement in regards to protestors demanding that police departments be defunded across the country, "There are things that can be done, but we need to come to mutual solutions about this and now is the time to do it. We must be very vigilant about these groups of anarchists who destroy the livelihoods of the very people that they claim to be trying to help." He added, "Let's just make sure we think this thing through, think about the consequences. You want to abolish police departments? Are you kidding me? What happens if you do that? Everybody goes and arms themselves, they start hiring vigilante groups to protect themselves, we have total chaos going on. That makes absolutely no sense."