Protesters continue vigil after NYC Council passes NYPD budget cut

LOWER MANHATTAN, New York City (WABC) -- Defund Police protesters remained camped out Wednesday morning across from NYC City Hall, the morning after City Council passed a budget that includes $1 billion in NYPD funding cuts.

NYPD officers dismantled makeshift barricades the protesters put up Tuesday night on the streets around City Hall, and met little resistance as they surrounded a noticeably smaller contingent who stayed overnight in the park.

Two people were arrested when the blockades, constructed with metal barricades and various other street materials, and reinforced with rebar, were taken down on Chambers and Centre streets just before the morning commute started.

Charges against the two taken into custody are pending.

Protesters set up the barricades just before dusk Tuesday night as they watched the City Council budget vote on a big screen they set up at the City Hall park they have been occupying.

Police officers watched them set the blockades as night fell but did not stop them.

Their plan was apparently to keep the protesters in and police out. That lasted until just before the morning commute, when the police dismantled the barricades and allowed traffic to flow northbound on Centre Street from the Brooklyn Bridge.

The stated point of the protest, which has occupied a small park east of City Hall, was to pressure politicians to divert "at least $1 billion" from the NYPD budget by Wednesday's budget deadline.

The view from NewsCopter 7 Wednesday morning was in contrast to one day earlier, when NYPD efforts to clear the Centre Street resulted in a brief clash.

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