CNN investigates a trend of 100 charitable bail groups in the U.S., including the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which have a reckless history of springing violent criminals back onto the streets where, not surprisingly, many continue to commit violent crimes.
In 2021, Minnesota Freedom Fund’s then-executive director boasted, “I often don’t even look at a charge when I bail someone out.”
Check out CNN’s investigative report.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund is among more than 100 charitable bail groups in the United States. Together, they represent a segment of the bail ecosystem that mostly flew under the public’s radar until the May 2020 police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“Floyd’s death left many Americans eager to do their part to counter inequities in the criminal justice system. Celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Seth Rogen and Vice President Kamala Harris touted the Minnesota Freedom Fund and other bail charities on Twitter. Donations poured in. Many charities experienced a surge, but none as jarring as the one that jolted the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
“In all of 2019, it raised about $231,000; in 2020, the charity took in a whopping $41.6 million. The deluge of donations was so huge it crashed the organization’s PayPal account.
“It was getting kind of scary,” Mirella Ceja-Orozco, co-executive director of the Minnesota Freedom Fund, told CNN. “None of us had ever seen this kind of money.”
In Minneapolis’s Hennepin County, which along with the rest of the state is served by the Minnesota Freedom Fund, CNN discovered at least 65 defendants who were bailed out by the charity after Floyd’s killing while awaiting trial on felony charges involving violence, physical threats or sex crimes. All were convicted.
Read CNN’s entire report here.