FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Yul-san Liem, 347.676.1878, firstname.lastname@example.org; Hilary Lyons, 917.874.6815, email@example.com
Today, 19 family members of New Yorkers killed by the NYPD sent the following letter to the New York City Council calling on all council members to vote "no" on the NYC FY22 budget, which expands funding for the NYPD:
Dear Speaker Johnson & NYC Council Members:
We are nineteen family members of NYers killed by the NYPD. Many of you have said the names of our loved ones over the years at marches and protests and press conferences.
Today, we are asking you to do more than say their names. We are writing to ask you to VOTE NO on NYC’s FY22 budget because it will increase the already bloated NYPD budget by hundreds of millions of dollars – and because this budget process has been secretive and anti-democratic. We are writing on the day before the budget deadline and still we don’t know when you will do your meeting to vote. This is not the way to do democracy.
Last year, we called on you to cut the NYPD budget by at least $1 billion and redirect those monies to our communities. You - the City Council and the Mayor committed to do that but we now know it was a lie based on funny math and budget tricks.
Every year, the NYPD continues to keep officers who have killed our loved ones on payroll instead of firing them. And every year, it seems that the City Council has rewarded the NYPD by increasing its budget.
This year we are asking you to stand with the families and make sure the NYPD faces budget consequences for their refusal to fire officers who kill and brutalize Black, Latinx and other New Yorkers of color.
VOTE NO on the FY22 budget because it increases money to the NYPD while continuing to short-change our communities and the budget doesn’t fully fund the non-police community solutions we’ve been calling for.
The FY22 budget would create 200 NEW NYPD positions that won’t improve safety but will help the NYPD improve their image. Vote no.
The FY22 budget pays for new consultants for the NYPD to improve its image in the name of “community engagement”. We want that money going to our communities, not to help the NYPD police us. Vote no.
The NYPD budget has already increased by more than $1.2B under de Blasio. Vote no.
The FY22 budget gives the NYPD more money to do things like fix basketball courts and run youth programs – but we need that money to go to youth organizations and community groups, not the NYPD. Vote no.
We know there are some positive things in the proposed budget and some past cuts that have been restored - that is not enough and we are sick of settling for crumbs. Coming out of the COVID lockdown period, NYC should be doing major investments to make sure every New Yorker has a home, good mental health care, jobs, education – not more police. It seems like you’re about to approve the biggest budget NYC (and the NYPD) have ever seen while still offering only crumbs to the non-police community programs we need to keep our communities safe – like summer youth employment, restorative justice in our schools, anti-hate violence, gun violence prevention and other community-led anti-violence work.
This is unacceptable. If you want to honor our families and loved ones, vote no on the FY22 budget.
We families call on you to vote NO on the budget because it will increase NYPD budget, spending, size, scope and power – instead of doing that for our communities. The secretive nature of this budget process has been harmful to New Yorkers and you should vote no.
We would appreciate a response to this letter. Please email the response from your office to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Iris Baez, mother of Anthony Baez, killed by NYPD in 1994
Kadiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo, killed by NYPD in 1999
Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham, killed by NYPD in 2012
Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah, killed by NYPD 2012
Hertencia Petersen, aunt of Akai Gurley, Killed by NYPD 2014
Valerie Bell, mother of Sean Bell, killed by NYPD in 2006
Natasha Duncan, sister of Shantel Davis, killed by NYPD in 2012
Angie Hicks, aunt of Shantel Davis, killed by NYPD in 2012
Carol Gray, mother of Kimani Gray, killed by NYPD in 2013
Shawn Williams, father of Antonio Williams, killed by NYPD in 2019
Gladys Williams, stepmother of Antonio Williams, killed by NYPD in 2019
Victoria Davis, sister of Delrawn Small, killed by NYPD in 2016
Victor Dempsey, brother of Delrawn Small, killed by NYPD in 2016
Mercy Baez, cousin of Anthony Baez, killed by NYPD in 1994
Nancy Pacheco, sister-in-law of Jayson Tirado, killed by NYPD in 2007
Eric Vassell, father of Saheed Vassell, killed by NYPD in 2018
Samy Feliz, brother of Allan Feliz, killed by the NYPD in 2019
Tomoko Suzuki, sister of Ryo Oyamada, killed by NYPD in 2013
Tsukasa Oyamada, father of Ryo Oyamada, killed by NYPD in 2013
cc: Mayor Bill de Blasio
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer