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New York City Lawmakers Approve $1 Billion Cut From NYPD Budget; Protesters Say It Still Falls Short

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City lawmakers approved a more than $88 billion budget overnight.

The deal includes a $1 billion cut from the NYPD, but some protesters say it still falls short of their demands.

"I think they should have put in the hard work, which is the council should have come up with a different budget," another protester said.

Protesters built a barricade outside City Hall, only to have it torn down by police, followed by several arrests. The demonstrators said the council only moved budget lines to different agencies, claiming it's creative accounting, not real cuts.

"They didn't do what the people needed," one protester said.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said he stands with the protesters and was also disappointed, saying he is committed to "holding the mayor's feet on the fire on this and continue to work for reform."

"I wanted us to go deeper. I wanted us to take larger head count reductions. I wanted a true hiring freeze. I wanted us to cancel addition classes. But this is a budget process that involves the mayor, who would not budge on these items," he continued.

More than $400 million will be slashed from the department's budget, with that money earmarked for summer youth programs, education, and family and social services.

Another $500 million in capital will be shifted toward youth recreation centers and expanding broadband in NYCHA houses.

The NYPD's July class of more than 1,100 recruits is canceled, overtime will be reduced, and crossing guards, school safety and homeless outreach will be shifted out of the department to other agencies.

RELATED STORY: Cuomo Dives Into NYC Police Reform Debate, Says De Blasio, City Council Should Go Back To The Drawing Board

Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the budget Wednesday.

"We found a way to keep our patrol strength consistent and keep people safe, while saving a lot of money and reducing overtime costs," de Blasio said.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says he can block tax collections to fund the budget. He doesn't support the budget, because it doesn't include an NYPD hiring freeze.

"They're saying that we can't hire new teachers, we can't hire new guidance counselors, new social work. We can't do anything in this city except add on 1,000 police officers. That is the wrong message that we are sending," Williams said.

While some protesters said they will continue to occupy the space outside City Hall to keep the momentum going, others said they plan on fighting for police reform in different ways.

"Protesters have not gotten what they want yet and they're going to continue to fight until they do," Nina Demeo said.


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