Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said 600 police officers were considering leaving the force amid protests in response to the death of George Floyd.
Kerik and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined Judge Jeanine Pirro on her Fox News show over the weekend to discuss police brutality and racism within police departments.
Pirro asked, “How many police officers are in the hospital right now that the mainstream media is not talking about?”
Kerik noted that hundreds of NYPD officers had been injured during the protests and added nearly double that number were considering leaving the police force.
“You have some in the hospital. But there were over 300, 300 injuries. And the thing that scares me, judge, I'm hearing close to 600 cops have either put in their papers, or they're talking to the department about resigning or retiring, like this is insane,” he said.
New York City experienced some of the most violent protests in the wake of Floyd’s death. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody on Memorial Day when officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck during an arrest.
Officers in New York were repeatedly attacked during protests, some of which became riots, including one who was struck by a hit-and-run driver, one who was beaten in the Bronx, and one who was “nearly killed” when a brick was thrown at him.
Giuliani has repeatedly called for Mayor Bill de Blasio to resign over his handling of the riots.
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“This action did not have to happen if we had a vaguely competent mayor. This should have been stopped five days ago. I mean, couldn’t they have stopped some of that? We have watched now over and over again people looting, throwing Molotov cocktails, burning cars, and now putting our police in prison, in hospitals, and virtually no major arrests are made,” Giuliani said.
“The mayor should step down. He’s incompetent,” he added.
De Blasio unveiled a few reforms to the NYPD on Sunday at the urging of a task force on racial inclusion, of which his wife is co-chairwoman. Redirecting money from the police department to youth programs is among the proposed changes.
“We will be moving funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services,” the mayor said at a press conference.
The NYPD’s budget was nearly $6 billion in 2019. It is unclear how much money will be redirected, but Comptroller Scott Stringer called for $1.1 billion to be cut from the NYPD budget last week over four years.