The march’s destination was a street in Williamsburg where City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was rumored to be staying during the pandemic with his “sweetheart,” explained Sandy Nurse, former candidate for City Council in District 37 and community organizer.
“The speaker needs to put into motion plans to make cuts to the [NYPD’s] budget,“ said Nurse, who was a part of a loose, black-led coalition that organized the march, in a phone call. “We wanted to take it to him personally.”
The protest, which organizers called the “Defund the Police Party,” came on the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement earlier that day that he would cut the police department’s funding. He declined to specify how much of its annual $6 billion budget he would slash.
Organizers, however, demanded he and Speaker Corey Johnson specifically remove $1 billion from the police department’s yearly coffers. Among their other demands was the repeal of 50-A, a state statute that prevents the public from accessing a police officer’s disciplinary record when the officer kills a civilian, and the dropping of all charges against protestors arrested in the past two weeks.
— City of New York (@nycgov) June 7, 2020
“It’s insane to me how much money we spend on police misconduct,” said Veronica Salama, a protestor and employee at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Atlanta who is from Astoria, Queens.
The “Defund the Police Party” followed 10 days of protests across the city in which New Yorkers erupted en masse against police brutality after a cop’s killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
As opposed to prior marches in Williamsburg and the five boroughs, the march did not have to contend with a citywide curfew that had been lifted Sunday morning, and the police did not confront protestors with marked violence.
See more photos of the march: