The Demand to #DefundNYPD is Alive and Well

Image is a photograph of a subway station entrance/exit in downtown Manhattan by City Hall covered in hand painted signs about police brutality and abolishing the police. Text on signs includes: “Oink! Oink! Oink! Cops are Killers”, “Abolish the Police”, “Black Lives Matter”, and “Justice for Layleen Polanco”. Further in the distance beyond the subway entrance are a crowd of people gathered. Beyond the people are high rise buildings.

We’re urging politicians to take a stand on Defund if they want to run in NYC.

  • Despite recent union-busting turmoil, the Dianne Morales campaign stood out in a crowded mayoral race by adopting Defund’s demands — $3 billion dollars in cuts to the NYPD budget, no new jails, and closing the prison on Riker’s Island were all stances that defined the Morales campaign and forcing other mayoral candidates, especially other candidates running as “progressives,” to come up short in comparison.
  • 36 candidates from 23 districts covering all 5 boroughs signed onto the Real Public Safety Pledge, committing to rejecting PBA campaign contributions, demanding an NYPD hiring freeze, and cutting a total of $3 billion from the NYPD budget over the course of their 2-year term if elected. Is your candidate missing? Use our toolkit to pressure them to sign.
  • District 26 in Queens already has 4 candidates, 20% of all candidates in that race, on the pledge.
  • Over 100 candidates were identified as supporting some “Defund-style” policies. Check out where they are here.

We’re winning hearts and minds as part of a rich tradition — and a living movement.

  • Though the widely trumpeted March 2021 Ipsos/ US Daily News polling showed just 18% of respondents “support the movement known as ‘defund the police,’” the same report found that 43% support the idea to “take a portion of the budget for police in your community and redirect those funds to social services.” That’s a full 25% gap due to biased reporting & wording, in the same respondents.
  • On a local level, recent polling from Data for Progress found that 53% of NYC Dems prefer mayoral candidates who want to shift “significant budget & responsibilities away from the NYPD,” with only 24% of those polled in opposition. What might those numbers have looked like in April 2019?
  • VOCAL-NY’s Caring and Compassionate New Deal, a set of demands which also demands a $3 billion budget cut from the NYPD and further calls for cuts to district attorneys offices and correctional funding in order to fund guaranteed housing and access to care
  • CPR’s NYC Budget Justice with its ongoing campaign to push cops out of schools and protect the repeal of 50a at a state level
  • The Defund NYPD Coalition, which is bringing together organizations committed to demanding for Mayor DeBlasio and City Council to pursue real public safety by reallocating 50% of the NYPD’s budget to education, healthcare, housing and other community investments proven to support healthy communities. Most recently, the coalition organized a rally and march through East New York to mark the first anniversary of the police killing of George Floyd and to demand justice and accountability for all New York families victimized by members of the NYPD.

We’re still in the streets and the cops hate it.

  • The weekly Stonewall Protests, helmed by Black trans women, have been a consistent presence and thus a prime target, suffering random fascistic backlash. Still, just this month, NYC Pride banned cops at its annual parade through 2021, a move that harkens back to the very first Stonewall Riot and gels with the vicious attacks at last summer’s Queer Liberation March. Cry about it, NYT Op-Ed board!
  • The Fire Artem protests are powered by an urgent, on-the-ground demand: Fire Artem Prusayev, an NYPD officer who pulled his weapon on protesters on January 12, 2021. These protesters have already forced Prusayev to switch police precincts and may have even caused him to make an impromptu move, and they’re not even close to leaving him be.

The police aren’t going to roll over and give up power — they’ve got the ruling class on their side.

  • Despite the many, many other reasons the Capitol was overrun on January 6, 2021, Congress is now throwing more money at Capitol Police instead of examining how the police state really works — and what role cops played, literally or implicitly, in the events of the J6 Riot.
  • Despite the history of anti-Asian and anti-sex worker violence from the police — and the NYPD in particular — cops have been presented as a solution to anti-Asian hate, with calls from mayoral candidates like Andrew Yang and Eric Adams to further police Asian neighborhoods, and at a federal level, thanks to a hate crime bill that pumps money into law enforcement.
  • Despite the hard work of organizers, state legislators are scrambling to undo the progress Defund campaigns have made. Florida has already passed anti-Defund legislation, while Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Iowa have bills with similar aims passing through their state legislature.

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