Protesters demand NYC Mayor de Blasio cut NYPD budget by $1B

Protesters began occupying the space Tuesday afternoon

Demonstrators say they'll occupy a park outside City Hall in New York City until at least $1 billion is cut from the New York Police Department budget.

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"By June 30, we're going to know if the city is prepared to — by the city, I mean, Mayor Bill de Blasio, I mean Speaker Corey Johnson and the whole city council — are they prepared to reduce NYPD spending by at least one billion dollars and reinvesting that money into housing, health care, education and social services? That's where we are," Jawanza James WIlliams of Vocal-NY, a protest organizer, told Fox News' Tamara Gitt.

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Protesters began occupying the space on Tuesday afternoon, CBS2 reported.

A group of Black Lives Matter protesters prepare banners at City Hall after spending the night on June 24, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The NYPD has an operating budget of nearly $6 billion, and although de Blasio has said he will shift funding from police to social services, the protesters want to know if he'll agree to a reduction as large as $1 billion.

"We're not leaving here until our demand is met because black lives depend on this," Williams said. "Black people depend on us defunding the NYPD."

The Occupy City Hall movement comes as tensions are high between police and New York protesters. More than 300 people were arrested in one night of protesting in late May in the wake of George Floyd's death while in police custody in Minneapolis.

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Across the country, protesters are calling for the defunding or even dismantling of police departments. Some leaders are doing what they ask. Earlier in June, the Minneapolis City Council voted to replace its police department with a community-led public safety system.

FOX Business' inquiry to the mayor's office was not immediately returned.

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