FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2021
Contact: Ashley C. Sawyer | 718-857-1393 ext. 124 | firstname.lastname@example.org
In the wake of public pressure following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and many other Black people killed by police, the governor of New York issued Executive Order 203, requiring each local government to come up with a policing reform plan by April 1, 2021 in order to be eligible to receive funds from the state.
Yesterday evening, less than 24 hours ago, the public could access for the first time a 27-page New York City Council Resolution adopting a plan pursuant to EO 203. This plan is not the way forward. Instead, this plan and process keeps New York City exactly where it has been: in the clutches of the NYPD’s increasing power over the lives of marginalized communities.
Council can begin to reconcile this by voting no and making a commitment to pursuing justice through the FY22 city budget. In the weeks ahead, Council must not allow a city budget to move forward that funds the many boundless NYPD initiatives laid out in this proposal.
GGE continues to strongly condemn attempts to transfer a school policing force across agencies, ultimately creating new policing infrastructure within the Department of Education. We join with our partners to reject today’s attempt to codify the transfer through this Resolution. In profound solidarity with school districts across the country, we continue to demand police-free schools.
From draft plan to resolution, language changed from “The City will invest sufficient resources” to “The City will invest at least $30 million” on school climate supports. Since the Mayor took office, the school policing expense budget has grown by $120 million and is now the most expensive it has ever been in the City’s history. Altogether, during the Mayor’s administration, the City has spent $2.7 billion on school policing. Knowing this, a $30 million commitment is undisputedly inadequate.
The way forward will not be through surrendering to the NYPD more latitude or more jurisdiction to interact with communities, but rather to make bold, abundant, and real investments in creative and restorative approaches to preventing violence and harm entirely separate and apart from the NYPD. We are calling on Council to challenge the notion that more NYPD presence, including different kinds of police presence or rebranding, will address the decades-long issue of police killings of people of color.