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De Blasio Promises Cuts To NYPD, Ends NYC Curfew

Mayor Bill De Blasio announced on Sunday that New York City would end its curfew. The curfew was initially imposed last week as mass protests grew against police brutality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

The call to end the curfew comes a day earlier than previously planned. De Blasio noted that most protesters had been peaceful, and admitted that the NYPD had sometimes overstepped its duty in policing the protests. At least two officers have been suspended because of violent misconduct toward protesters in the city.

"I made clear throughout the week that the NYPD was going to use a restrained approach. I know there are deep concerns about specific situations and I respect that," de Blasio said. "But in this city, the NYPD did not use many of the approaches used in many cities."

De Blasio also said on Sunday that he would shift funds from the NYPD into youth and social services.

"I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people. ... While doing that we will only do it in a way that we are certain continues to ensure that this city will be safe."

The specifics of how much funding will be reallocated were not revealed, with de Blasio saying specifics will be released in the coming weeks. Currently the NYPD accounts for around $6 billion of the city's $90 billion budget, which faces a July 1 deadline.

The mayor also reiterated support for reform of a state law to provide for more transparency in the police force, and announced that the NYPD would no longer be enforcing street vendor laws and regulations.

"There's other types of enforcement that may not work in today's society where we need to make bigger, real change ... one that we can announce today is in the area of street vendor enforcement."

The final reform mentioned was an arrangement for the city to hire "community ambassadors" as liasons to the NYPD. De Blasio said they would have "the ability to bring their concerns to the highest levels of the NYPD ... to make sure there's a truer, deep connection between communities and the NYPD."

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Austin Horn is a 2019-2020 Kroc Fellow. He joined NPR after internships at the San Antonio Express-News and Frankfort State-Journal, as well as a couple stints in the service industry. He aims to keep his reporting grounded in the experience of real individuals of all stripes.