New York City’s Comptroller Scott M. Stringer sent a letter Thursday to the city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio asking him to cut $1.1 billion of funding to the New York Police Department over the next four years saying the funding to “scale down” the police force. Moreover, he said the money needs to be diverted “toward vulnerable communities most impacted by police violence and structural racism.”
“These are trying times for all New Yorkers, but especially for communities of color,” he wrote in the letter. “Across the boroughs, as across the nation, protesters have gathered to mourn and demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the hundreds of black men and women who have been killed at the hands of police in the U.S. The need for change – and a fundamental realignment of priorities – is clear, and I urge you to seize this moment to bring a measure of justice and fairness to how we spend our city dollars and protect New Yorkers.”
According to Stringer’s letter, it would mean a 5 percent budget cut for the police force for FY2021, which would be about $265 million.
The Comptroller’s budget plan for the NYPD is as follows:
- “Reduce uniformed headcount through attrition: The City should suspend hiring of new police classes in FY 2021. Assuming a 3 percent attrition rate, that would bring expected uniformed headcount down to approximately 35,000 by end of FY 2021, or roughly the same average headcount that prevailed between 2011 and 2016, when crime continued its steady decline to historically low levels. Savings would also accrue from associated fringe benefits savings.
- Cut uniformed overtime by 5 percent: Overtime spending for FY 2021 is budgeted at $519.6 million. A 5 percent reduction in budgeted overtime for uniformed officers would yield a $26 million annual savings.
- Trim Other than Personnel Services by 4 percent: The City-funded OTPS budget for FY 2021 is $429 million. A 4 percent reduction in OTPS savings would yield $17 million in savings. This could be achieved through reductions in the NYPD’s spending on computer services and other service contracts, as well as a lengthening of the replacement cycle for NYPD vehicles, among other possible actions.”
Below is the full letter:
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Facebook, Instagram Employees ‘Censor or Delete’ Protests against Iran
Former and current Facebook and Instagram employees are shedding light onto the “fact checkers” that are censoring vital content such as protests against Iran. “According to a report by BBC Persian, these employees admitted that at all levels of the company, the Iran regime’s influence has infiltrated, leaving biased and pro-regime content monitors to restrict, censor or delete posts about the current protests in Iran” reports The Foreign Desk.
Similar to censorship at the companies in the United States and elsewhere, the behavior is its own political movement. “The actions by these Iranian employees to remove images of the demonstrations in Iran and associated hashtags helps reinforce the Islamic Republic’s argument that the protests are not so widespread.”
According to one of the former employees who had his identity hidden for security purposes, told the BBC Persian in an interview from Germany, that the workers travel back and forth between Europe and Iran. “About 90 percent” of the decision making on censorship is done by these “fact checkers.”
“These are individuals who single-handedly take posts down. According to the source, employees are not allowed to have their personal cellular devices with them at their workstations, so these individuals go to the break room to report a post from their personal phones and then come back to their workstations and address the ‘complaint’ they just created.”
Instagram removed the below post from the @FarashgardFdn becase people chanted “down with Khamenei”.
— Iranian Americans for Liberty (@LibertyIranian) May 16, 2022
The Foreign Desk adds:
In 2019 TELUS International became the third-party company contracted with Instagram and Facebook to become their fact checkers and address complaints from users reporting posts for violent, hateful, or threatening material.
A second source, a former TELUS employee, said approximately 400-500 Iranians work at the company in Germany, a country that is known to have diplomatic and bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic.
The Islamic Republic has learned from the Green Revolution of 2009 to infiltrate Western social media outlets and their parent companies to control the narrative and prevent the international community from siding with anti-regime demonstrators.
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