A bail fund championed by Vice President Kamala Harris suffered a 98 percent drop in contributions in 2021, tax forms obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund raised just $837,000 in 2021, according to its IRS Form 990 filing. That’s a far cry from the $41.7 million the group raised in 2020 during the George Floyd riots. Harris urged people to support the fund "to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota." The Freedom Fund used those donations to bail out a host of violent offenders, including alleged murderers and pedophiles.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund is just the latest social justice darling to suffer dwindling support after receiving a surge of cash during the 2020 riots. Black Lives Matter, which raised $90 million following Floyd’s death, reported last week that its revenues plummeted 88 percent in its 2022 fiscal year. The group blew a sizable portion of its windfall on luxury mansions and lucrative contracts for the family and friends of the group’s co-founder, Patrisse Cullors.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund’s financial windfall in 2020 was thanks in no small part to Harris’s endorsement of the group, according to American Bail Coalition executive director Jeffrey Clayton. At least 13 staffers who worked for President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign donated to the fund in days following Floyd’s death, Reuters reported.
But the Minnesota Freedom Fund spent only $210,000 to help bail people out of jail facing protest-related charges, the group reported in September 2020.
Much of its windfall went to post bail for individuals charged with violent crimes such as Christopher Boswell, a twice-convicted rapist, and Timothy Wayne Columbus, who faced up to 30 years in prison for allegedly sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl in 2015. The Minnesota Freedom Fund spent $75,000 each to secure Columbus’s release in July 2020 pending trial, according to court records obtained by the Daily Caller.
Some of the violent offenders released from jail thanks to the Minnesota Freedom Fund went on to commit murders while awaiting trial. Career criminal George Howard shot and killed a man during a road rage incident in August 2021, three weeks after the Freedom Fund bailed him out of jail following a domestic violence charge.
Later, in May 2022, repeat felon Shawn Michael Tillman shot and killed a passenger on a St. Paul light rail platform after the Minnesota Freedom Fund helped secure his release from jail the prior month on a separate indecent exposure charge.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund did not return a request for comment.
Update 2:30 p.m.: A previous version of this story referenced Jaleel Stallings as a violent offender. A jury found in Sept. 2021 that Stallings acted in self-defense after being shot at with rubber bullets by police.