Donald Trump has called for the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, to ‘hire back’ officers who the president suggested had been fired after almost $1 billion was cut from the New York Police Department (NYPD) budget.
City officials agreed on June 30 to reduce the annual budget for the NYPD from $6.1 billion to $5.2 billion.
‘I want to address the violence, looting, and rioting taking place in the Democrat-controlled cities of New York, Portland, Chicago, and Seattle,’ said Trump on Tuesday afternoon.
‘The mayor, Bill de Blasio, should immediately hire back all of the police who were fired without justification.
‘They were fired. I guess that’s part of ‘Defund the Police’ by the Democrats. They should hire New York City’s finest back,’ he said.
Donald Trump on Tuesday afternoon blamed the city’s police budget cut for a surge in violence
New York’s mayor, in Chinatown on Tuesday to promote local business, was unamused
Over a third of the $1 billion reduction would come, in de Blasio’s estimation, from reducing overtime.
School Safety Agents have been transferred from a policing cost to an education cost. Benefits would be reduced for members of the NYPD, and the anti-crime unit disbanded, with officers reassigned to other divisions. Canceling the July class of 1,163 police recruits saves $55 million in salaries, according to budget documents.
There was no suggestion, however, of mass redundancies, which the president seemed to believe had happened.
The president said that the sharp increase in gun crime in New York was down to the June 30 budget cut.
So far in 2020, more than 1,000 people have been shot in New York City — twice the number recorded last year.
Homicides are also up 50 per cent, according to statistics.
Officers from the New York Police Department prepare to confront protesters on August 7
Police in Portland, Oregon arrest a protester in front of the precinct on Monday night
Police in Seattle block the road to protesters during a demonstration on July 26
Trump said that the surge in New York crime was down to politicians in the Democrat-run cities bowing to pressure from left-wing activists, and said New York should serve as a warning to the rest of the country.
‘They want to pass federal legislation gutting and hamstringing every police department in America,’ he said.
‘They want to end cash bail; close prisons; defund police departments – or at least largely defund.
‘You see that with New York. A billion dollars they took out of their police department, and crime has gone through the roof.
‘And appoint far-left prosecutors who side with the criminals and target law-abiding citizens.
‘If the left gains power, no city, town, or suburb in our country will be safe.’
De Blasio replied that Trump was ‘making things up’ to distract from his own cuts to benefits, and urged the president to demand Congress pass another coronavirus stimulus bill.
‘@realdonaldtrump is making stuff up about America’s cities because he wants you to forget that he’s cutting Social Security, Medicare and unemployment during a pandemic,’ said de Blasio.
‘We’re not falling for it. Pass a stimulus.’
The president also returned to his usual attacks on Democrat-run cities which have seen waves of protest, descending into violence.
‘What you’re seeing in Portland and Seattle, New York, Chicago is really the Democrat roadmap for America,’ he said.
‘They want every city in America to resemble Portland, in a form.’
A line of police in protective helmets and riot shields in Manhattan on August 8
Seattle police clash with protesters demanding an end to police brutality on July 25
Portland has seen 75 straight nights of protests against police brutality since George Floyd was killed on May 25, while Seattle has also been turbulent.
Chicago, like New York experiencing an abnormally bloody summer, saw a frenzy of looting in the early hours of Monday after a false rumor spread about a police shooting.
Trump called on the leaders of Chicago, Portland and Seattle to allow the law enforcement officers to ‘do their job’.
‘I’m urging them to deploy these resources to protect their citizens and to stop the violence and all of the things that we watch on television going on,’ he said.
‘Local authorities have to investigate and prosecute all of these crimes immediately.
‘We’ll work with you. And the local authorities know who they are. They know where they come from. They know a lot about them.
‘They ought to get their act together and get it done, and we’re ready to help.’