NYC First Lady: Police-Free City Would Be ‘Nirvana,’ But Goal is Unreachable

New York City first lady Chirlane McCray speculated that an NYPD-free city would be “Nirvana,” in a Tuesday interview with Time magazine. “That would be like a nirvana, a utopia that we are nowhere close to getting to,” McCray said. When asked whether New York would follow Minneapolis in attempting to disband its police department, McCray …

New York City first lady Chirlane McCray speculated that an NYPD-free city would be “Nirvana,” in a Tuesday interview with Time magazine.

“That would be like a nirvana, a utopia that we are nowhere close to getting to,” McCray said. When asked whether New York would follow Minneapolis in attempting to disband its police department, McCray responded, “They can do things that would not be possible in a large city like New York.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said in the same interview, “Could the human race evolve to a point where no guardians, no structures are needed? I guess in theory, but I don’t see that in the future we’re going to live the next few generations.”

De Blasio on Sunday told reporters that an unspecified amount of funds will be redirected from the NYPD to youth and social services, and credited McCray with the idea behind the initiative.

The NYPD had a budget of $6 billion in 2019, while City Comptroller Scott Stringer has recommended diverting $1 billion from the police to other programs.

Calls to “defund the police” have grown in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers. At the same time, massive demonstrations sparked by Floyd’s death have led to instances of rioting and looting.

The NYPD has been called out in force to quell rioting throughout New York City, with looters targeting wealthy neighborhoods in lower and midtown Manhattan as well as sections of Brooklyn and the Bronx. De Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have criticized the department’s performance in handling the demonstrations.

“The legislators, the press, everybody’s trying to shame us into being embarrassed about our profession,” shot back Mike O’Meara, head of the New York Association of Police Benevolent Associations. “Stop treating us like animals and thugs, and start treating us with some respect….We’ve been left out of the conversation, we’ve been vilified — it’s disgusting.”

De Blasio has also appointed McCray to co-chair the city’s coronavirus racial inequality task force.

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