A bail fund promoted by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) bailed out half a dozen men out of jail over the summer, all of whom are accused of domestic violence, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, promoted the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) in June to help bail out protesters arrested while demonstrating over the death of George Floyd. The bail fund has paid for the release of a number of others charged with crimes unrelated to the protests, however, including two men charged with strangling their victims in the victims’ homes.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 1, 2020
By its own admission, MFF has spent little of its money on bailing out people arrested on protest-related charges. In a Sept. 4 blog post, MFF stated: “Since the uprising, we have paid $3,475,000 for county bails with $210,000 of that being used for protest-related bails that we were able to support,” referring to civil unrest that broke out across the U.S. over Floyd’s death.
We do not make determinations of bail support based on the crimes that individuals are alleged to have committed. We are, however, taking steps to strengthen our internal procedures for ensuring that those we bail out receive support, especially if they are in need of housing or medical treatment. Those processes involve renewing our commitment to listen to the communities directly impacted by our efforts, and ensuring those we bail out have the necessary support to safely return to their families and their community.
According to court documents reviewed and interviews conducted by TheDCNF, MFF posted bail for six men accused of domestic violence, one of whom has been convicted. Two of the men allegedly strangled women in the women’s homes. Another struck his girlfriend “five or six times with a closed fist,” according to police. Five of the six men who received help posting bail had previously been convicted of domestic violence.
In mid-September, the Daily Mail reported, MFF was found to have posted bail for a 36-year-old man accused of raping an 8-year-old girl in 2015.
“Victim stated [Timothy Wayne Columbus] laid her on the couch and held her down as he unbuckled his pants and pulled down her pants. Victim stated he then ‘put his thing inside me,’” a statement of probable cause said. “Victim stated ‘Tim’ told her not to tell anyone and continued to penetrate her.”
Aside from the Democratic vice presidential nominee, the MFF has been boosted and supported by a number of Hollywood celebrities. Steve Carell, Seth Rogan, Janelle Monae, Ben Schwartz, and Don Cheadle have all donated to the fund. Justin Timberlake also donated and encouraged others to send money to the MFF as well in order to bail out protesters from jail.
The MFF has also been found to have bailed out a number of other alleged violent criminals, such as a man who allegedly shot at police and a twice-convicted sex offender. Though politicians and celebrities have boosted the MFF as a way to help protesters, the group has maintained that it does not differentiate between charges, but only aims to combat “the system” of criminal justice, according to its director.