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Protesters Spend Third Day Camped Out Outside City Hall, Calling For Mayor To Slash NYPD Budget

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Protesters are camping out outside City Hall for the third day, demanding Mayor Bill de Blasio slash the NYPD's budget.

There were hundreds of people there Thursday afternoon.

CBS2's Ali Bauman reports it seems the crowd has grown compared to the same time Wednesday, and they're prepared for any rain with tarps and umbrellas, determined to stay until next week at the earliest when the city budget is due.

Protesters spent a third day camping out in the space between City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge.


After four weeks of daily marches for police reform, demonstrators now say they will camp out until the mayor cuts at least $1 billion from the NYPD's $6 billion budget.

They want that money reinvested in housing, health care and social services.

"When we look at communities with the least amount of violence, there's the least amount of police presence. Violence and police don't equate to each other. What actually mitigates violence is education, is mental health services, is drug treatment programs. So we cannot speak to police keeping people safe when there's a whole world of Black and brown people who are constantly expressing that police have not been the ones to make them feel safe," protester Tatianna Hill said.

On Thursday afternoon, the crowd listened to emotional speeches from mothers who have lost their sons to police.

Among them was Constance Malcolm, the mother of Ramarley Graham, who was shot and killed in his Bronx apartment by an NYPD officer in 2012.

"We need equal rights like everybody else. We want our community to be free. We want our kids to go to the park without being arrested by police. If they're walking five people, they're not a gang, they're friends ... We want change. We deserve change. We are tired of being oppressed. We are tired. We are not stopping in the streets until we get what we want," she said.

"This is why you see I'm on the forefront calling for defunding of the police because this is why I have to fight, because I don't want to have to bury another child," Malcolm continued. "We want to make sure our kids are safe. We want to make sure they get the education, like everybody else, that they deserve."

CBS2 has asked several of the protest organizers what will happen next if the police budget isn't reduced by at least $1 billion. They said they'll cross that bridge next week but reiterated this movement is a marathon not a sprint.

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