Occupy City Hall grows in numbers as NYPD budget deadline looms

Posted 7 days ago


Protesters living in a tent encampment meant to Occupy City Hall kicked off their sixth consecutive day on Sunday taking up space in New York City to demand at least $1 billion out of the NYPD’s $6 billion budget be cut before the upcoming July 1 city budget deadline.

Photos shared on social media showed officers dressed in riot gear standing outside City Hall Park in lower Manhattan, where hundreds of people camped out Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The #DefundNYPD for #NYCBudgetJustice campaign demands the $1 billion be reinvested for services, programs and infrastructure that “directly benefits Black, Latinx and other communities of color most devastated by COVID-19,” according to the Communities United for Police Reform website.

The same message was reposted by several users on Twitter, stating it is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker of the New York City Council Corey Johnson’s “duty” to defund the police department and that all elected officials opposed to the idea must resign.

“We the people at #OccupyCityHall will not stop until the budget works for ALL OF US. @NYCMayor @NYCSpeakerCoJo it is your duty to #DefundNYPD by half & re-invest it into our communities. Any opposed elected officials need to resign immediately. #NYCBudgetJustice #PeoplesBudget,” the message read.

De Blasio has committed to defunding the police, but has hesitated to specify by how much.

Police officials have said now is not the opportune time to defund the department given the number of shootings in the first three weeks of June has more than doubled compared to the same time last year. The spike in gun violence continued this weekend after at least 18 people were shot across New York City within a 24-hour period, WABC reported.

Protesters have been camping out on the lawn in tents and beneath umbrellas since last week. Organizers have been handing out free food and drinks, and people were seen playing music, dancing and singing, as well as creating artwork.

Signage displayed reflects support for Black Lives Matter, with several calling for justice for Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man who died last August in Aurora, Colo., ... (Read more)

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