From Zero to Hero: This Bail Reform Group is a Major Player in the Left’s Project to Loosen Crime Policies

by | May 8, 2023 | Law and Fair Courts

The Minnesota Freedom Fund went from obscure nonprofit to left-wing juggernaut in a scant few years. Now it’s pushing radical policies to put criminals back on our streets.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to abolishing cash bail in the United States, became an overnight asset for the Left’s war on criminal justice following the death of George Floyd in 2020.

What was one a small nonprofit with mere thousands to its name, became a multi-million-dollar bail reform advocacy group funded by “progressive” companies and loads of “dark money.” Alongside the staggering amount of cash flow into the nonprofit, the Minnesota Freedom Fund also became a hub for cash bail reform, donating millions to abolish cash bail across the country.

Founded just seven years ago, the Minnesota Freedom Fund is now a prominent figure in the Left’s war on cash bail—but the group didn’t do it all on its own. Politically motivated billionaires, politicians, and district attorneys have worked for many years to slowly abolish the cash bail system, effectively lobbying to release charged individuals back on the streets.

The prominent ideology behind cash bail reform stems from the belief that the criminal justice system in America is inherently racist, while bail requirements discriminate against the poor.

Often pointing to the thousands of individuals in jail that have not been convicted of a crime, the groups advocate for policies that remove cash bail and pay for charged individuals to be released back on the streets. The Minnesota Freedom Fund is designed to “pay criminal bail bonds and immigration bonds for those who cannot otherwise afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.”

Where Did the Money Come From?

In 2019, the Minnesota Freedom Fund oversaw about $200,000 in donations that were used to free approximately one charged individual per month. In 2020, the nonprofit received $42 million in contributions from a vast network of donors, a 20,900 percent year-over-year increase.

The bulk of the donations, nearly $14 million in “dark money,” came through a network of “donation solution” nonprofits that conceal the identity of the original donors. The groups include Mightycause Charitable Foundation which donated over $6 million; the American Online Giving Foundation, which donated nearly $3 million; and the Network For Good, which donated nearly $4 million.

Many donor-advised fund providers—pass-through groups which mask their donors’ identities—also weighed in on cash bail reform. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund donated nearly $224,000 and the Schwab Charitable Fund donated $132,000.

Thousands of dollars in donations were provided by the American Endowment Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, Minneapolis Foundation, National Philanthropic, Never Again Action, Herbert V. Kohler and Natalie Black Kohler Foundation For Giving Back, and “dark money” behemoth the Tides Center. Several smaller donations were also provided by the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota, Distracted Globe Foundation and the Fleetwing Charitable Foundation.

The nonprofit also received support from individuals after celebrities, including Steve Carell and Justin Timberlake, posted support for the nonprofit on social media. Vice President Kamala Harris also announced support for the group: “If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota,” she tweeted.

Where Did the Money Go?

In 2019, the Minnesota Freedom Fund was a small company with only one full-time employee. Now, they are a leading bail reform organization with millions to their name. What have they done so far?

This year, the Minnesota Freedom fund launched an advocacy branch: Minnesota Freedom Fund Action (MFF Action). The fund is a 501(c)(4) political advocacy organization, which allows it to spend more lobbying for changes to state law.

Its mission is clear: “The Minnesota Freedom Fund will only close our doors when the cash bail system and the harms of immigration detention have been eliminated,” co-executive director Elizer Darris told thepress.

Alongside the newly formed political advocacy wing of the fund, the group has also become a hub that helps fund other groups supporting “bail reform.” In 2020, the Minnesota freedom fund donated $4.5 million to the Community Justice Exchange, a project run by the “dark money” behemoth Tides Center for “a rapid response fund to be used to meet the needs of bail.”

The group spent $10 million in 2020 to free 610 inmates who had not yet been convicted of their alleged crimes, while also spending an additional $2 million to release 150 immigrants.

Printing Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Cards

The Minnesota Freedom Fund views its work as the solution to a “corrupt” criminal justice system, yet the group has assisted many criminals commit further crimes.

In December 2021, the Minnesota Freedom Fund posted bail for Jackie Rahm Little, who was charged with allegedly setting fire to a vehicle. After the Minnesota Freedom Fund helped Little with his release, he was charged with arson connected to two mosque fires in south Minneapolis.

In June 2021, the fund helped bail out Thomas Moseley after he was charged with damaging the Minneapolis Police Department. He was found with a handgun during the incident.

In December 2021, the Minnesota freedom fund bailed Moseley out after he was arrested during a riot. The nonprofit paid a combined $65,000 to free him.

In October 2021, Moseley was arrested for a third time after police found a collection of weapons, marijuana, cocaine and psychotropic mushrooms in his truck. (This time, the Minnesota Freedom Fund didn’t post his bail.)

“Three handguns, a shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle as well as a panel for stopping bullets in a bullet-proof vest, a gas mask and about 50 bullets,” prosecutors said.

“We do not make determinations of bail support based on the crimes that individuals are alleged to have committed,” the Minnesota Freedom Fund told WCCO-TV about Moseley.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund has continued to pay for dangerous individuals to be released from jail. The group posted a $100,00 bail for Darnika Floyd, charged with second degree murder for allegedly stabbing a friend. The group also bailed out twice-convicted rapist Christopher Boswell for $350,000.

Boswell was involved with two separate cases that involved kidnapping, assault, and sexual assault charges.

In August 2021, the Minnesota Freedom Fund bailed out George Howard who was arrested on charges of domestic violence. The following month Howard was arrested for fatally shooting someone on a highway in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund referred to the situation an “undeniable loss and tragedy for the entire community.”

The Left’s Golden Children

The Minnesota Freedom Fund is a prominent example of “progressive” ideas being brought to the mainstage through influence and funding. Before the death of George Floyd, the fund had very few donors and minimal impact on releasing dangerous criminals.

Following the death of George Floyd and the arrest of many rioters, bail reform groups were brought into the light and heavily funded to make bail a nation-wide issue. Large donors, such as John Arnold and George Soros, are pushing huge donations into bail reform groups and soft-on-crime district attorneys despite numerous examples of the freed individuals committing serious crimes.