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Protesters Focus On Calls To Defund The Police As Demonstrations In New York City Continue For 20th Day

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Protests against police brutality and racial injustice continued for a 20th day in New York City.

Protesters say the mayor's actions to help build trust between police and the communities are all fine and well, but as far as they're concerned, it's just lip service until the NYPD's budget is slashed.

Hundreds marched through the streets of Manhattan on Tuesday, sustaining the same energy and passion they had one day one.

"We don't want our black and brown brothers to walk into-- brothers and sisters to walk into delis and see a cop and automatically be fearful. They're supposed to protect us, not scare us," protester Luis Galilei said.

Protesters who spoke to CBS2's Ali Bauman say they're encouraged by the small progress recently, including legislation the governor has signed into law over the past week.

But they say those measures are far from enough police reform to appease their demands of overhauling the entire department and reinvesting a portion of the NYPD's budget into community and youth services.

"I want to not let that distract us from the bigger thing, which is the defunding conversation. They'll talk anything about the transparency and the statistics and demographics, which is all great, which is all part of that legislative bill, but we want to defund the police and invest that money into our communities, into education, into mental health, into health care," Galilei said.


On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new policies on NYPD body cameras, which are worn by all officers in uniform, which is two-thirds of the department.

Effective immediately, police must release body cam footage within 30 days any time a cop fires their gun, when a cop fires a taser resulting in death or bodily injury, or when the use of force results in death or injury.

Previously, releasing footage was at the discretion of the police commissioner.

"A lot of the most important things we can do are about how we approach policing. We need to change the reality of policing much more deeply," de Blasio said.

RELATED STORY: NYPD To Release Body Camera Footage Of Shootings, Other Encounters Within 30 Days, Mayor Says

This move comes on the heels of Commissioner Dermot Shea disbanding the anti-crime unit and reassigning all 600 undercover officers.

Shea says due to the nature of their work, the unit has had disproportionately higher numbers of complaints and police-involved shootings.

"It has had a particularly problematic reputation amongst our clients and amongst the community for being hyper aggressive about policing," said Jennvine Wong with the Legal Aid Society.

RELATED STORY: What Was The NYPD's Anti-Crime Unit And What Does It Being Disbanded Mean?

Anti-crime unit supporters worry disbanding them could cause crime to spike.

Retired officer Angel Maysonet served in an anti-crime unit in the Bronx.

"We were out there to be proactive and stop the robberies and get the guns off the street before it happened," he said.

"I wanna see policies that end systemic racism, that ends systematic racism, and equality won't come until stuff like that starts," protester Derrick Owoeye said.

Protesters say these reforms are progress but do not address their top priority, which is cutting a portion of the NYPD's $6 billion budget and reinvesting that money into community and youth services.

"We have to talk about where the system fails us in the beginning, not the punishment. If you continue to punish your kid without telling him where he went wrong or where she went wrong, they're just gonna continue to do it," Galilei said.

The City Council speaker and other lawmakers are pushing to cut $1 billion from the NYPD's spending. The city budget is due in two weeks.

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