A New York Police Department (NYPD) commander for the Bronx precinct is resigning this week in protest of how the department has handled recent city-led reforms and protests that erupted against police brutality in response to the in-custody death of Black American George Floyd.
Deputy Inspector Richard Brea, who led the Bronx’s 46th Precinct, is handing in his notice after serving the department for nearly 30 years, Guardian Angels leader Curtis Sliwa told the New York Post on Thursday.
Brea reportedly told Sliwa in a phone conversation that he had not been provided with enough guidance from his superiors on removing drugs and guns from the streets after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged to implement wide-ranging law enforcement reforms, including eliminating the department’s plainclothes anti-crime units.
“How am I supposed to lead?” Brea reportedly told Sliwa. “I’m doing this, and others may be following in my footsteps.”
It comes after de Blasio on June 7 pledged to slash funding for the NYPD and redirect it to youth and social services, amid calls from far-left groups to “defund the police” following Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
De Blasio told reporters that he wants “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 mayor said.
Following the death of 46-year-old, who died on May 25 after an officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minuted, and amid growing protests against police brutality, organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement stated they want “a national defunding of police.”
De Blasio didn’t elaborate on the amount he intends to shift from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services; he said the details will be worked out in the budget process in the coming weeks ahead of the July 1 budget deadline.
The police department currently has an annual budget of $6 billion, which amounts to roughly 6 percent of the mayor’s proposed $90 billion fiscal 2021 budget.
The mayor previously noted that the city would be forced to cut expenses in the wake of the pandemic caused by the CCP virus, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, which has ravaged the nation’s economy.
Last week, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that the department will eliminate its plainclothes anti-crime units and will transfer those personnel to detective assignments and neighborhood policing, noting that the change would affect some 600 officers.
“We welcome reform, but we also believe that meaningful reform starts from within,” he told reporters on June 15.
Shea noted that the move is “not without risk,” questioning whether the decision would result in fewer guns being taken off the streets of New York City. But he said the risk rests “squarely on my shoulders.”
Silwa told The Post that Brea cited concerns about looters taking advantage of city-wide protests to wreak havoc in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
“He was indicating the problems after looting—like not seeing them coming,” Sliwa said.
Brea’s last day with the department will be June 26, Silwa said.
Sources told the news outlet that NYPD members are organizing a walkout ceremony at 3 p.m. at the 46th Precinct station house for Brea.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the NYPD for comment.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.