NEW YORK (CBS) – The U.S. Department of Justice has labeled New York City an “anarchist jurisdiction,” the next step in cutting federal funds to New York City.
As CBS2′s Marcia Kramer reports, with gun violence continuing to plague New York City, President Donald Trump took the next step in his threat to defund the Big Apple as punishment for defunding the NYPD.
The Justice Department formally labeled New York City “an anarchist jurisdiction,” along with Portland and Seattle.
New York City could lose up to $7 billion in federal aid.
“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.
“I was out in Elmhurst, Queens this morning. I saw peace, tranquility. I saw people going about their business, people excited that it’s the first day of school. I saw anything but anarchy,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. “This is just another one of President Trump’s games. It’s thoroughly political. It’s part of his campaign strategy. It makes no sense. It is not based in the facts in the least. It’s insulting to the people of New York City, and his effort to withhold our funding is unconstitutional.”
“The president does not have the authority to change the will of Congress,” said Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson. “Not only is it unconstitutional, but that designation of ‘anarchy’ doesn’t even pass the common sense test. And if need be, we can send in addition to our legal filing, a dictionary. Because what we have in New York is not anarchy.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted angrily when President Trump first threatened to withhold federal funds several weeks ago. He said President Trump wants to kill New York City, and that the New York native was no longer welcome in this town.
“He can’t come back to New York. He can’t walk down the street in New York. Forget bodyguards. He better have an army if he wants to walk down the streets of New York,” Cuomo said earlier this month.
In a statement justifying the move, the Justice Department noted that shootings have been on the rise. The latest figures from the NYPD showed the gun violence has claimed nearly twice as many lives this year as last year: 209 people were killed as of Wednesday, compared to 109 in 2019.
The Department of Justice also cited the city’s decision to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget, cancel the July police class, cut overtime spending and transfer certain police functions like school safety out of the NYPD.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the department was making progress in reducing gun violence, and said the recent cold weather might help.
“As it gets cooler and you get less people outside and less outdoor activity like drinking, it certainly is an ally,” he said.
The White House budget director is set to make recommendations to federal agencies within two weeks on what funds can be cut.
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