A Bail fund promoted and supported by Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris and a number of staffers for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden provided bail money for an alleged child rapist Fox News reported.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund (MMF) is a charity that provides bail money for accused criminals. According to its website, “MFF believes that every individual who has been arrested by the police is innocent until proven guilty, and if a judge deems them eligible for bail, they should not have to wait in jail simply because they don’t have the same income or resources as others with more privilege.” It has raised $35 million after calling for donations after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in late May.
On June 1 Harris tweeted an appeal for donations to the MFF. “If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota,” Harris wrote in her tweet. However, according to its website, the MFF spent $3,475,000 on bail money for defendants since Floyd’s death but only $210,000 of that money was spent on bail for those charged with rioting and looting. The remainder has gone to post bail for individuals charged with very serious crimes.
The MFF spent between $75,000 and $300,000 (court records obtained by the media do not show the exact amount paid for bail) to release Timothy Wayne Columbus, 36, from custody. Columbus faces charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct relating to his penetrating an 8-year-old girl in 2015. If convicted, Columbus faces up to 30 years in prison. He has denied the accusations against him.
Richard Raynell Kelley, 54, was another beneficiary of MFF’s largesse. He allegedly beat and robbed his 71-year-old mother after breaking into her home. After his release on bail Kelley violated a stay-at-home court order and is currently at large. Police are unaware of his whereabouts.
Deshaun Jermaine Boyd was also bailed out by MFF. He was caught on surveillance video knocking down, beating, and robbing a man. The victim walked with a cane and suffered “significant injuries” from the assault according to the police report of the incident.
A number of Biden staffers tweeted appeals for donations to MFF. Patrick McCarthy, a Biden organizer, tweeted on May 29, “While massive criminal justice and immigration reform is needed immediately we have to do what we can now. Let’s continue to support @MNFreedomFund. #GeorgeFloyd Who’s Next?” Another Biden staffer, Sal DeFransesco, tweeted the same day, “Cash bail is discrimination against the poor and must be abolished Let’s keep up this support for the @MNFreedomFund. Who’s next?” In all Reuters reported that at least 13 Biden staffers donated to MFF and publicly encouraged others to do so.
The Biden campaign officially supports the elimination of cash bail. Its website states its position clearly. “Cash bail is the modern-day debtors’ prison. The cash bail system incarcerates people who are presumed innocent. And, it disproportionately harms low-income individuals. Biden will lead a national effort to end cash bail and reform our pretrial system by putting in place, instead, a system that is fair and does not inject further discrimination or bias into the process.”
New York and California have tried eliminating cash bail, but have seen many problems crop up as a result. David Hoovler, president of the New York District Attorneys Association, said of the New York law, “The law is well meaning, bail reform is well meaning, but there are unintended consequences, and you cannot just cut the judges out of it completely,” as reported by NBC News. Horror stories of criminals released committing additional violent crimes abound.
The Trump campaign, which has made law and order an important emphasis in the presidential contest, quickly condemned the Democratic ticket for their support of MFF. “As vice president, Joe Biden oversaw cuts to police funding and now as a candidate he says he wants to redirect funding away from police,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said. “His staff mocked police as worse than ‘pigs,’ called for defunding the police, and now we know his campaign helped bail out violent criminals, rapists and would-be cop killers.”
Republican National Committee Rapid Response Director Steve Guest added, “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have to answer for why they supported a group that helped a man accused of sexually penetrating a child.”