Minneapolis Freedom Fund, a group that took in millions in the days following George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department – thanks to support from A-list celebrities and political bigwigs, including newly minted vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) – bailed out violent criminals as well as anti-racism and anti-police brutality demonstrators, according to a report from a local Minneapolis news outlet.
The Minneapolis-based non-profit took in an astounding $35 million in just a few days per a report from Fox 9 Minneapolis. High-profile individuals promoted the charity as a way of actively assisting those demonstrating in Floyd’s memory and against the actions of the Minneapolis Police Department.
The $35 million in donations was, of course, meant to provide bail money to protesters who were arrested by Minneapolis Police, but the group, Fox 9 says, didn’t differentiate between peaceful protesters with clean records and alleged offenders picked up for other, more violent crimes during the same period.
“Among those bailed out by the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) is a suspect who shot at police, a woman accused of killing a friend, and a twice-convicted sex offender, according to court records,” Fox 9 says. “According to attempted murder charges, Jaleel Stallings shot at members of a SWAT Team during the riots in May. Police recovered a modified pistol that looks like an AK-47. MFF paid $75,000 in cash to get Stallings out of jail.”
The MFF also put up more $100,000 for an alleged murderer and $350,000 for “a twice-convicted rapist, who “is currently charged with kidnapping, assault, and sexual assault in two separate cases.”
Minneapolis Freedom Fund, though, says it’s been in operation for years, long before George Floyd’s death, and that they aren’t concerned with what alleged offenders are charged with.
“The last time we were down there, the clerk said, ‘We hate it when you bail out these sex offenders, that is what they said,’” their director told the news organization. MFF, though, he added “is not about the crime, it’s about the system.”
“I often don’t even look at a charge when I bail someone out,” the group’s director said. “I will see it after I pay the bill because it is not the point. The point is the system we are fighting.”
As for how many protesters were bailed out, the group doesn’t know: “probably a dozen in terms [of] direct bail actions.”
Harris, who, as of Tuesday, is presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, promoted Minneapolis Freedom Fund in the days following Floyd’s death, as well, as protests (and subsequent riots) raged in Minneapolis and in other major cities.
“Harris, D-Calif., a former prosecutor who served as the attorney general of California for six years, promoted the fund herself in a June 1 tweet, telling her followers that the group would be able to help protesters swept up in clashes with police as unrest gripped Minneapolis,” Fox News reports.
“If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota,” Harris tweeted.