New York, NY – New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Dermot Shea said he fully supports Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to slash funding for the city’s police department.
De Blasio caved to demands to defund the police, vowing on Sunday to divert an unspecified amount of the NYPD budget to various social programs and youth groups instead, the New York Post reported.
“Policing matters for sure, but the investments in our youth are foundational,” de Blasio said during a press conference at City Hall. “We will be moving funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services.”
The mayor did not specify which aspects of the NYPD will be axed, nor did he outline how much money would be diverted into other programs, the New York Post reported.
Details regarding which programs would benefit were also not provided.
Although de Blasio provided no plan, he insisted that the cuts would not put citizens at risk.
“We will only do it in a way that we are certain continues to ensure that this city will be safe,” the mayor declared.
Commissioner Shea voiced his support on Monday to slash his department’s $6 billion budget, the New York Post reported.
“To help the kids of our city, I’m 1,000% behind shifting some funding from the police to youth programs,” the police commissioner tweeted. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to dig down and do what’s needed.”
He reiterated his stance during an interview with FOX News, arguing that pulling money from police to bolster community programs is a worthwhile move.
“We can find the money [within the NYPD] to fund youth programs in this city,” Commissioner Shea said. “I think it is crime-fighting in a better way…I think that we can do a lot better.”
NYPD officers voiced concerns that overtime budgets would be among the first resources to disappear, and noted that doing so will negatively impact how quickly and effectively certain cases are handled, the New York Post reported.
“This isn’t a job where you work banking hours,” a department source told the paper. “You can’t work eight-hour days when you are trying to solve a case.”
An officer in Brooklyn said that the cuts will likely impact minority communities with high crime rates the most, the New York Post reported.
He noted that the situation is ironic because the budget cuts that will negatively impact those communities were made in response to demands of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“You can’t care about black lives and cut the police budget, because that would be a disaster to the black community,” the Brooklyn officer argued. “It would affect the black store owners and make certain neighborhoods — Bed-Stuy, Harlem, Bushwick — ripe to be taken over again by drug dealers and violent gangs.”
New York City Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said that NYPD personnel “feel abandoned by everyone” as third week of mass anti- police protests unfolds across the country, FOX News reported.
“There is no one supporting the police, from the governor to the mayor to the DAs to the city council,” DiGiacomo said. “I challenge any elected officials who think they could do a better job with urine being thrown at them, bottles, and being shot at.”
Nearly 300 NYPD officers had been injured while dealing with the rioters since the May 25 in-custody death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death during his arrest. His charges have since been upgraded to second-degree murder.
On June 3, former Minneapolis Police Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder for their role in Floyd’s arrest.
The officers had responded to a call about a counterfeit $20 that Floyd had allegedly used to make a purchase at a deli.
Store employees pointed out the suspect to police and they arrested him.
The complaint used to charge Chauvin said Floyd actively resisted arrest and then fought being put in the back of a police car once he had been handcuffed.
Viral cell phone video showed then-Officer Chauvin and three other officers holding Floyd on the ground.
The video showed Officer Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, during which time the suspect lost consciousness.
Chauvin remained on Floyd’s neck for almost three minutes after he was unresponsive.
Floyd was pronounced dead 90 minutes later at the hospital.
After three days of violent riots and looting that left Minneapolis and its sister city, St. Paul, in flames, the state investigative agency announced it making an arrest.
Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension four days after the incident and held on a $500,000 bond, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced, according to WCCO.
According to charging documents, the medical examiner’s preliminary report found no physical evidence that Floyd had suffered from asphyxiation or strangulation at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
The preliminary autopsy findings indicated Floyd had died from a combination of his underlying medical problems and possible substances.
“The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,” according to the complaint.
But veteran forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden told reporters on Monday at the Floyd family press conference that his independent autopsy determined that the man had died of asphyxiation much in the same way Eric Garner died from a choke hold in New York in 2014, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The Eric Garner autopsy report showed no damage to any area of his neck, and it was determined that he died of a medical emergency induced by officers who were arresting him.
But the final autopsy findings released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office hours later confirmed that Floyd had died from heart failure.
“Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” Floyd’s autopsy said. “Manner of death: Homicide.”
“How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” the report continued. “Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”
The toxicology results showing fentanyl and methamphetamine directly contradicted assertions by the forensic pathologist that Floyd’s family’s attorneys hired to dispute the initial medical examiner’s report.
And a postmortem nasal swab showed that Floyd tested positive SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, according to KSTP. He had previously tested positive for COVID-19 in April 3.
Protests erupted in the Twin Cities after Floyd’s death, leaving both Minneapolis and the state’s capital of St. Paul burned, looted, and destroyed.
Rioters overran and torched the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct where the officers accused of Floyd’s homicide were assigned.
Protests spread across the United States, and became very violent in major cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Portland, Oakland, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.