Although Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, was swiftly thereafter charged with second-degree murder, the Black Lives Matter protests are far from being over.
The demonstrations, which erupted on 26 May in Minneapolis, a day after Floyd died, rapidly spread across the US and have been accompanied by looting, vandalism, and clashes with police. In response to the swirling violence at least 200 cities imposed curfews, while some 5,000 National Guard personnel were deployed in 15 US states and Washington D.C.
Black Lives Matter's Questionable Funding
Black Lives Matter (BLM), an organsation behind the current protests, previously made headlines in 2014 when nationwide unrest raged over the deaths of two African Americans, Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of white police officers. However, Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel is highly skeptical about the group's activism and operations.
"A search through the IRS Tax Exempt Organisation website suggests there may be about 20 purported 'charities' that use BLM in their name", he says. "Few, if any, are validly organised or operated as tax exempt entities, truthfully registered to solicit donations. IRS records could be incorrect (possible yet unlikely) but this raises the lingering suspicion that criminal grifters may themselves be taking advantage of legitimate protesters who correctly seek to reform the criminal justice system".
The Wall Street analyst continues that if one goes to the Black Lives Matter website and tries to donate, one would learn that his/her donation will be made to an entity called ActBlue Charities, Inc., which presumably, then sends the money to BLM.
This, however, raises at least two questions, according to him:
• First, is ActBlue Charities lawfully organised and operated?
According to its official website, ActBlue Charities is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organisation, yet information provided to the IRS and to New York's Charity Bureau website does not appear to fully explain the connections among ActBlue Charities, with other ActBlue entities and vendors that are actively engaged in for-profit or partisan political activities, the Wall Street analyst underscores.
• Second, is ActBlue disclosing all of its incoming receipts intended for BLM?
Ortel highlights that the organisation "certainly does not disclose grants of $5,000 or more to BLM entities". Still, ActBlue cannot legitimately avoid such disclosures by claiming to act as a "fiscal sponsor" for BLM, he argues.
Charles Ortel is not the only investigative journalist raising the question about BLM's funding. On 10 June, The Gateway Pundit's Joe Hoft revealed that when one researches the expenditures of ActBlue, one finds out that their contributions appear to go directly to top DNC campaigns. Hoft asks whether foreign donors to Black Lives Matter are aware that their donations could have been funnelled to the Dems which is "a violation of campaign contribution laws" during the ongoing election cycle.
"I hope forensic accountants and FBI investigators are looking closely at this because bad as the looting of cities is, it would be even worse if donations from well-intentioned supporters of ensuring equal treatment under law were being looted by criminals through 'leaky' fake charities", Ortel says.
Dems' Anti-Trump Resistance
At the same time, "it is somewhat surprising that riots erupted so quickly and continue in 2020", given that the "incidents such as the one with Floyd and others highlighted in recent years are the exception not the rule", Ortel highlights.
Citing Attorney General William Barr, the analyst elaborates that there are roughly 900,000 policemen across the US and they interact many times each day with members of the public which in certain cities, such as Chicago and New York, "pose substantial risks for police officers". According to the FBI, an average of 85 police officers were feloniously killed per year between 1980 and 2018, while in 2018 a total of 106 policemen were killed in the line of duty.
"If media personalities and executives support Black Lives Matter, why do they give minimal attention to ongoing gun violence using unregistered weapons in cities like Chicago and New York that already have extremely tough gun use laws and regulations on the books?"
Even before the protests Chicago faced an upsurge in gun violence, especially within black communities. There were 453 shooting incidents and 103 homicides in the city between 1 January and 5 April which constitutes an increase if compared to the 364 shooting cases and 92 murders for that same time period in 2019, as the Chicago Police Department reckons. For its part, New York City also saw a 12% spike in shootings during the same period.
This morning we committed to move resources from the NYPD to youth and social services as part of our City’s budget.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 7, 2020
Our young people need to be reached, not policed.
We can do this AND keep our city safe.
Given this calls by protesters to defund the police willingly supported by some Democratic mayors in cities which are already dangerous "is worse than foolish", Ortel warns.
"One wonders how such proponents may themselves be allied with criminals", he says. "In the United States, crime remains a large 'business'. So, when criminals learn that certain cities may be decreasing police activities, they will migrate to these cities, for now, run by negligent simpletons. As for the media, traditional 'journalists' hype stories that may hurt President Trump, while failing to tackle problems and issues that are much more important like the ones you mention".
The investigative journalist does not rule out that the riots are yet another chapter in the Dems' "anti-Trump resistance" saga that "started with Hillary Clinton's sore loser opposition, continued with the now debunked Russia collusion allegations, morphed into the Ukraine call impeachment drama, shifted to the COVID-19 hysteria, and then erupted late in May".
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.