Hundreds of people in New York City have been camping outside the City Hall in Lower Manhattan for nearly a week as of Saturday to demand cuts of police funding.
The “Occupy City Hall” movement is asking the city government to slash one billion U.S. dollars off the annual budget of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), which is often 6 billion dollars.Most protesters are seen wearing masks, but social distancing is not strictly followed as they are sitting close to each other or lying on picnic blankets.
Most of them are young people. Some placards they have made show their demands, such as removing police from schools and investing in care facilities. Masks, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and umbrellas are provided at the scene of the protest.
Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to divert city funds from NYPD to youth and social services, but without specifying how much money will be shifted. The city budget for the next fiscal year is due June 30.
The protest follows weeks of nationwide protests against police violence after the death of Minneapolis black man George Floyd.
Many protesters have called for the defunding of police. It also comes at a time when the city is experiencing a spike in gun violence.
There have been 477 shootings so far this year, in comparison to 345 incidents at this point last year, ABC reported on Friday, citing authorities.