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As Democrat Kamala Harris prepares to assume the office of Vice President of the United States, a bail fund she promoted for Black Lives Matter (BLM) rioters over the summer is refusing to share records that would shed light on how many violent criminals it got released from prison.
In June, Harris promoted the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) to “help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.” The group says it wants to “maximize the number of people we can release from cages through the payment of criminal and immigration bonds.”
Just the News reported that it has attempted to obtain a “full accounting of the individuals bailed out by the fund last year,” but MFF simply referred it to county jail rosters, which “are not easily accessible,” and refused to answer if it keeps its own records.
The issue is of concern due in part to reporting by The Washington Post and local media outlet KMSP, which identified among MFF’s beneficiaries a rioter accused of shooting at police officers, a convicted repeat sex offender, and a woman accused of killing her friend.
“The group’s unwillingness to provide records of whom it helps bail out of prison, coupled with the remoteness and relative inaccessibility of those records within local jail files, has rendered opaque a critical accountability metric at a time when the U.S. is grappling with the effects of politically inspired violence,” Just the News reporter Daniel Payne wrote.
During the span of several months last year, Americans watched BLM protests lead to arson, looting, and violence through major cities across the country in response to the death of a Minnesota black man at the hands of a white police officer. The officer was quickly charged with murder, but the incident still revived BLM’s narrative of “systemic racism” in law enforcement and throughout American society more generally.
As detailed by the U.S. Justice Department, New York shootings “have been on the rise since looting and protests began on or about May 28, 2020” (a 177 percent increase in July from the year before, and a 166 percent increase in August from the year before); prosecutors in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx refused to prosecute crimes stemming from the protests; city and state leaders “have forcefully rejected federal law enforcement support”; and city leaders “cut $1 billion from NYPD’s FY21 budget” during a time of “increased unrest, gun violence, and property damage,” causing “cancellation of the new police recruiting class, cuts to overtime spending, and the transfer of certain police functions, including school safety, out of the NYPD.”
Portland, the DOJ continued, saw “100 consecutive nights of protests marred by vandalism, chaos, and even killing,” including arson, injuries to police, and a 140 percent spike in shootings from the previous year. Amid it all, the city “cut $15 million from the police bureau, eliminating 84 positions” including the Gun Violence Reduction Team and emergency response personnel,” and Mayor Ted Wheeler also rejected federal law enforcement assistance.
And in Seattle, officials notoriously “permitted anarchists and activists to seize six square blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood” and renamed it the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) or “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP). Police were “ordered to abandon their precinct within the CHOP,” leading to a 525 percent increase in crimes such as homicide, robbery, and assault. While all this was going on, city and state leaders also refused federal law enforcement.
Incoming Democrat President Joe Biden eventually condemned the violence after pressure to do so, but endorsed its underlying grievances by claiming that “systemic racism” is “not just in law enforcement” but “in everything we do.” Harris, his running mate, said in June that the protests were “a beautiful sight” that were “not gonna let up. And they should not.”