A Minnesota nonprofit that blindly bails out violent offenders from jail said it will improve its “internal procedures” after one of its beneficiaries assaulted a man.
“It’s clear that we need to take steps to strengthen our internal procedures for supporting those we bail out, renew our commitment to listen to the communities directly impacted by our efforts, and look for concrete ways of improving our internal procedures,” the Minnesota Freedom Fund said in a statement released Tuesday.
The group received $35 million in donations earlier this summer from donors who were under the impression that their financial contributions would be used to help jailed protesters and rioters. At least 13 staffers for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign donated to the group while Sen. Kamala Harris expressed her support for the organization on Twitter.
A recent Fox 9 investigation discovered that the Minnesota Freedom Fund used its influx of donations to bail out a woman accused of murder, a twice-convicted sex offender, and a suspect who shot at police during May’s riots. Only about a dozen protesters actually needed help with bail.
Alpha News learned last week that Lionel Timms, who was in jail on charges of assault, was provided bail by the Minnesota Freedom Fund just days before violently assaulting a bar manager in Minneapolis.
“The Minnesota Freedom Fund is deeply saddened and troubled by the recent arrest of Lionel Timms in connection to the recent assault of a popular and well-respected member of our community, and our entire staff, board and network of volunteers hope that the victim makes a quick and complete recovery,” said Greg Lewin, interim executive director of the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
Lewin claimed that “delays in the government’s processing” of Timms’ release prevented him from receiving housing assistance, which set “the stage for the subsequent tragedy.”
“We can’t control the way that system operates, but we can control how we pursue our mission of creating a more equitable Minnesota and ensuring that defendants aren’t kept behind bars because they can’t afford to pay a court-ordered bail,” Lewin continued. “In this case, the criminal justice system failed, and we didn’t do enough to mitigate that damage by ensuring that Mr. Timms had the support he needed to safely come back to the community.”