New York City police arrested two “Occupy City Hall” protesters overnight Tuesday, while the morning hours gave way to scuffles between officers and demonstrators who have camped out for a week to demand Mayor Bill De Blasio “defund the police.”
As the “occupation” in front of New York’s City Hall entered its eighth consecutive day, police said two arrests were made: one man for graffiti and another for assault on an officer.
POLS FACE IRE OF ‘DEFUND THE POLICE’ FORCE, FROM SEATTLE TO NEW YORK CITY
Anti-police graffiti was scrawled on the Surrogate’s Courthouse overnight, reading “Euthanize Swine” and “ACAB,” which stands for “All Cops Are Bastards,” WPIX-TV reported.
Video posted online shows fighting and shoving breaking out between several protesters and police Tuesday morning.
WPIX reporter Anthony DiLorenzo captured video of police trying to move protesters away from the street and removing metal barricades around the park outside City Hall, at protesters’ encampment. He reported that set off scuffles with protesters.
Protesters have refused to leave the encampment until De Blasio meets demands to slash the police budget by $1 billion following weeks of protests over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans killed by law enforcement. The department’s budget is about $6 billion, and the city has a July 1 budget deadline.
“We’ve done different levels of escalation to make sure we’re getting their attention,” Jonathan Lykes, one of the movement’s organizers, told The Associated Press. “If they defund the police by $1 billion then we have won — but that’s only our demand this week.”
DE BLASIO PROPOSES MASSIVE NYPD BUDGET CUT
De Blasio, in turn, proposed a plan that would cede to the protesters’ demand for the $1 billion cut in police funding.
“My office presented to City Council a plan that would achieve the billion in savings for the NYPD and shift resources to young people, to communities in a way that would help address a lot of the underlying issues that we know are the cause of so many problems in our society,” he said Monday.
The NYPD has about 36,000 officers. Asked if that number will hold, De Blasio responded: “Whatever we do in terms of headcount has to keep the city safe.”
Patrick Lynch, head of the Police Benevolent Association union, said the proposed cuts will lead to fewer cops on the streets amid a spike in shootings that has lasted several weeks.
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“We will say it again: the Mayor and the City Council have surrendered the city to lawlessness. Things won’t improve until New Yorkers hold them responsible,” Lynch said in written statement.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.