New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray recently described a world in which police didn’t patrol the city streets as “a nirvana,” but said it’s probably not likely to happen any time soon.
McCray, who was with her husband Mayor de Blasio when she was speaking, made the remarks to Time magazine just days after Minnesota lawmakers vowed to dismantle the Minneapolis police department, which has come under harsh criticism for the police custody death of George Floyd.
“That would be like nirvana, a utopia that we are nowhere close to getting to,” McCray told Time, referring to the possibility of a police-free metropolis.
But McCray, who’s looking at a run for Brooklyn Borough President, noted that implementing such a drastic change in the Big Apple would be much more challenging than doing it in Minneapolis.
“They’re a small city,” she said. “They can do things that would not be possible in a large city like New York.”
Her words came as her husband contemplates how to make significant cuts to the NYPD amid a fiscal crisis and demands that the city defund the department over its handling of protesters who flooded streets after Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis cop, who held a knee against his neck for more than eight minutes.
De Blasio also held out hope for a future without cops, but agreed it’s unrealistic.
“Could the human race evolve to a point where no guardians, no structures are needed? I guess in theory, but I don’t see that in the future we’re going to live the next few generations,” he said. “You’re going to have police in New York City because it is needed for safety, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change policing.”