Protesters are demonstrating outside City Hall tonight, demanding the NYPD be defunded, and that those funds be relocated towards communities desperately in need of help from the city.

After conducting about a half an hour of speeches devoted to the topic, protesters are preparing to march throughout the city, though exactly where they are planning on marching is still unclear. 

Our Shannan Ferry spoke with one of the organizers of the protest who spoke to the growing crowds outside City Hall. He said he is laser focused on the upcoming city budget, which is set to be voted on next week.

“Right now, we are in a critical moment, a turning point in this nation’s history,” the protester, who’s name is Jason, said. “We can invest in Black and brown communities who’ve long been abused by the police. New York City and the NYPD has a systemic history when it comes to abusing and victimizing Black and brown communities.”

As for the recent reforms made in the city — including reassigning 600 anti-crime, plain clothed police officers to detective bureaus and community-based policing — Jason said that the policy is good, but that they want investment in their communities.

“Policies are great, they go a long when in changing the structure, but we want a change in the structure of how our communities are treated in New York City. And that will come when we actually divest from the police and invest in our communities.” 

Organizers of today’s protests also highlighted the necessity of voting, and repeatedly encouraged those in attendance to get out to vote if they had not done so already.