More evidence exposed the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization for misuse of $60 million raised from George Floyd’s death. BLM is facing more criticism and accusations after a video revealed three former leaders dining and drinking champagne at a $6 million property in Southern California in 2020.
However, this is not the first time BLM has found itself in the eye of criticism. Patrisse Cullors, former BLM’s founder, resigned in May 2021 after it was exposed that she had purchased 4 real estate properties listed at $3.2 million and then spent $12.7 million in fees to lawyers and consultants, allegedly for the organization, according to Washington Examiner.
According to New York Magazine, Melina Abdullah, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garzala, former leaders of the movement, reportedly hoped to keep the $6 million mansion purchase secret in May 2021.
Although the leaders of the BLM movement explained that the luxury property was purchased as a retreat, emails reveal that the group bought it in secret.
Dyane Pascall purchased the residence, the finance manager of Janaya and Patrisse Consulting, an LLC operated by Cullors and his spouse, Janaya Khan, two weeks after BLM received $66.5 million from its backer.
On the other hand, BLM member Shalomyah Bowers also justified the acquisition of the luxurious home, claiming it would serve as housing and study for recipients of the Black Joy Creators Fellowship.
Currently, it is unclear who is in charge of the activist group after its three founding members, Cullors, Garza and Opal Tometi, left the organization.
On January 31 of this year, the California Department of Justice urged BLM to “immediately cease” fundraising in the state due to its “lack of financial transparency.”
However, BLM continues to solicit and receive contributions despite the order.
The organization also failed to file its 2020 tax return. So far, it only has a 2019 tax return filed with a non-existent Los Angeles address.
Laurie Styron, executive director of CharityWatch, told the same media outlet that the findings were.
“Like a giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew and no clear direction.”
However, despite the extreme improprieties, by Cullors, Garza and Abdullah, in the handling of the funds, in the video in which the three former leaders toast with champagne on the day of the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, they respond with aggravations to those who wrote comments about the squandering of funds. “Who the hell are you? You haven’t done anything,” Abdullah says. Garza adds, “I don’t need to be accountable to you.” “I don’t know what accountability looks like with people I don’t know and have never spoken to,” New York Magazine reported.