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The wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told TIME magazine earlier this week that she can envision a Big Apple without police someday, claiming it would be “nirvana, a utopia.”
That said, however, she and her husband also don’t see it happening anytime soon.
“That would be like a nirvana, a utopia that we are nowhere close to getting to,” Chirlane McCray noted in a TIME100 Talks discussion.
Cray’s comments come after elected leaders in Minneapolis have caved to demands by Left-wing groups to disband that city’s police department in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a few bad cops last month.
When she was asked if New York City would follow Minneapolis’ lead and disband the country’s largest metropolitan police department, at around 36,000 officers, McCray laughed it off.
“They’re a small city,” she said. “They can do things that would not be possible in a large city like New York.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minneapolis is the country’s 46th largest city with a 2019 population of around 430,000. By comparison, New York City is the nation’s largest and has a population of more than 8.3 million people, the Census Bureau reports.
DeBlasio agreed with his wife that it’s not possible, at this point, to dismiss the city’s police force — though demands from Left-wing groups in New York City including Black Lives Matter activists are seeking just that.
“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,” he said.
Despite his far-Left political ideology, even de Blasio knows that getting rid of the city’s police department would bring instant chaos and lead to its destruction, as well as vigilante justice.
“You’re going to have police in New York City because it is needed for safety, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change policing,” said the mayor, who has had a contentious relationship with his department since taking office last decade.
Along those lines, the mayor blasted police for allegedly leaking to the press details about his daughter’s arrest last week during anti-police demonstrations following the death of Floyd.
De Blasio said he was “proud of her but angry that her privacy was invaded” with the release of her arrest information.
“One of our police unions did an incredibly inappropriate thing,” he said, while McCray added she “worried” about her daughter’s “eye-opening experience” which she, too, was “proud” of.
Regarding his department, de Blasio announced last week he would be adopting a series of police reforms and other measures recommended by his task force on racial inclusion, which is chaired by his wife. They including some defunding of the NYPD and using that money to fund city youth programs instead.
“We will be moving funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services,” the mayor said during a press conference.
“The details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead. But I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people,” he added.
“This is a beginning. I want it to be abundantly clear to all New Yorkers. These are first steps to what will be 18 months of making intense change in this city. The work of this task force is crucial,” de Blasio said. “This is a transformative moment.”
De Blasio made the announcement after he was booed during a vigil held for Floyd.
As for those reforms, McCray told TIME that the issue is supposedly about improving policing.
“It’s good-policing. It’s not no-policing,” McCray said. “It’s having a different kind of culture than what we have now that is not so punitive and harsh and abusive.”
Earlier this week, Mike O’Meara, head of the New York State Police Benevolent Association, blasted the media and politicians for throwing the department under the bus, as well as all other police officers, following the Floyd incident.
O’Meara said the vast majority of officers are not “Derek Chauvin,” the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering Floyd.
“Police have 375 million interactions with the public every year — overwhelmingly positive responses,” O’Meara said. “But we all read in the paper that in the black community, mothers are worried about their children getting home from school without being killed by a cop. That does not happen!”
See the full interview with de Blasio and McCray here:
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