The father of a black teen shot dead by police has joined-in demands to know what Black Lives Matter’s $90 million funds have been used for after its co-founder’s $3 million property portfolio was exposed.
Michael Brown Sr – whose 18 year-old son Michael Brown was shot dead by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, added his name to the BLM 10 Plus movement. It is comprised of the original 10 Black Lives Matter chapters, and is seeking transparency and accountability from BLM about how its cash has been used.
Co-founder Patrice Cullors resigned last month after her $3 million property portfolio was revealed, although those houses were bought with cash Cullors earned through public speaking and books she has written.
Black Lives Matter took in $90 million in 2020, and was left with a balance sheet of $60 million by January 2021. Around $8 million was spent on expenses, including staffing costs with the other $20 million donated to local chapters and nonprofits.,
Those numbers – and news of Cullors’ property portfolio – has led to questions about how BLM is spending its money, and complaints over a lack of transparency from bereaved families previously supported by the group.
Michael Brown Sr. is perhaps the most notable name to join the BLM 10 Plus movement, Fox News reported.
His son’s death at the hands of white cop Darren Wilson, the decision not to charge Wilson, and the violence between police and protesters in the aftermath have been largely credited for the early spread of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Michael Brown Sr. is perhaps the most notable name to join the BLM 10 Plus movement
His son Michael Brown, 18, was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014
Brown’s death and the violence between police and protesters in the aftermath have been largely credited for helping popularize the Black Lives Matter movement
People wearing face masks hold banners in Hyde Park during a BLM protest following the death of George Floyd
The foundation took in over $90 million last year and said it committed $21.7 million in grant funding to official and unofficial BLM chapters, as well as 30 black-led local organizations.
Records show some chapters have received multiple rounds of funding in amounts ranging between $800 and $69,000, going back as far as 2016. The #BLM10 said the amounts given have been far from equitable when compared to how much BLM has raised over the years.
Critics of the foundation contend more of that money should have gone to the families of black victims of police brutality who have been unable to access the resources needed to deal with their trauma and loss.
The BLM 10 Plus group released a statement on Friday that read: ‘The number of chapters that have aligned in support of our statement has nearly doubled.’
‘Some of these chapters have made their own statements echoing not only our call to accountability but also our experiences as we sought transparency, democracy, and internal transformation for years,’ the statement continued.
‘The BLM 10 Plus continues the call for transparency and most importantly, for principled accountability in movement infrastructures.’
The statement added: ‘The issues we’ve highlighted within the Black Lives Matter movement are not unique to this group or to people of color.’
‘Grassroots movements have been co-opted across the globe and it is our intention to be a part of the collective creating processes based on integrity so that we, nor any other activist or advocate, encounters these avoidable issues in the future.’
The BLM 10 Plus group noted that chapters which have been critical of how the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has been run had their names stripped from the foundation’s website in November.
The revelations of Black Lives Matter infighting comes after co-founder Patrisse Cullors announced her resignation from the foundation amid reports detailing her $3 million property empire.
News reports revealed Cullors owns four residential properties in upscale – and predominantly white – California and Georgia neighborhoods with a total value of more than $3 million.
Critics were concerned that the homes were purchased with money the prominent activist earned from the nonprofit foundation – though she has clarified that they were purchased with money she earned through public speaking and book deals.
The revelations of Black Lives Matter infighting comes after co-founder Patrisse Cullors announced her resignation from the foundation
Last month, Cullors – who described herself as a ‘trained Marxist’ – referenced stories about her four homes when resigning, saying reporting of the properties was a ‘tactic of terror’ and an example of ‘right-wing bullying.’
Cullors, who has been at the helm of the foundation for nearly six years, said she is leaving to focus on other projects, including the upcoming release of her second book and a multi-year TV development deal with Warner Bros.
‘I’ve created the infrastructure and the support, and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave. It feels like the time is right,’ she said.
Her departure follows a massive surge in support and political influence in the U.S. and around the world for the BLM movement, which was established nearly eight years ago in response to injustice against black Americans.
‘Those were right-wing attacks that tried to discredit my character, and I don´t operate off of what the right thinks about me,’ Cullors said.
The foundation is bringing aboard two new interim senior executives to help steer it in the immediate future: Monifa Bandele, a longtime BLM organizer and founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in New York City, and Makani Themba, an early backer of the BLM movement and chief strategist at Higher Ground Change Strategies in Jackson, Mississippi.
‘I think both of them come with not only a wealth of movement experience, but also a wealth of executive experience,’ Cullors said.
Before and after: BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors has been busy upgrading her newly-purchased home located in the ritzy Los Angeles neighborhood of Topanga Canyon. The house is pictured left in April shortly after she closed on the property. On Tuesday, DailyMail.com photos showed a brand new fence surrounding the house and a gate (right) installed at the driveway
A neighbor who spoke to a subcontractor revealed Cullors was adding an electronic gate at the driveway portion, a walk up door, a call box and other safety measures such as cameras
The source told DailyMail.com the cost of the exterior home improvements were in the ‘$35,000 range.’ The project appeared to be near completion earlier this week
The new – and pricey – installation comes amid backlash over Cullors’s multimillion dollar housing portfolio
The Black Lives Matter movement first appeared as a social media hashtag, following the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Cullors, along with BLM co-founders Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, pledged then to build a decentralized movement governed by consensus of a members´ collective.
In 2015, a network of chapters was formed, while donations and support poured in. Garza and Tometi soon stepped away from day-to-day involvement in the network to focus on their own projects.
Cullors, who has arguably been the most publicly visible of the co-founders, said she became the foundation’s executive director last year purely out of necessity.
BLM founders (from left) Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi are pictured on the red carpet at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Hollywood back in 2016
In 2020, the BLM foundation spun off its network of chapters as a sister collective called BLM Grassroots, so that it could build out its capacity as a philanthropic organization. Although many groups use ‘Black Lives Matter’ or ‘BLM’ in their names, less than a dozen are considered affiliates of the chapter network.
In recent days, the foundation reiterated its commitment to the ‘on-the-ground grassroots work of organizers, chapters, and communities around the world.’
‘Over the past six months, BLM Grassroots has created a process for onboarding new chapters that will nourish our collective vision for Black freedom. Together we will build, grow, and expand while harnessing the wisdom learned over the past 8 years,’ the foundation said in a statement.
‘As we work to bring these new chapters into the fold worldwide, we are resolute in our commitment to Black liberation and to principled struggle. Now is the time to fortify our deep roots while strengthening new relationships and strategic work.’
Meanwhile, Cullors has been busy upgrading her ‘Marxist’ mansion in the rustic but ritzy Topanga Canyon area of Los Angeles County amid the fallout.
As these exclusive DailyMail.com photos show, shortly after closing on the three-bedroom, three-bath, 2,380 square foot property in March, the 37-year-old activist got right to work with some home improvements.
Last month workers were spotted in the early morning hours trenching mounds of dirt in front of and around the property in preparation for a formidable barrier to wrap around the home.
A neighbor who spoke to DailyMail.com revealed a sub-contractor told him they were erecting a wooden fence to surround the entire property and that the exterior improvements were in the ‘$35,000 range.’
‘It will have an electronic gate at the driveway portion, a walk up door, and call box, and other safety measures, cameras – you know, to keep the riff raff out,’ he said.
On Tuesday, photos of the property reveal the fencing and gate project was near completion.
The new – and pricey – installation comes amid backlash over Cullors’ multimillion dollar housing portfolio.
DailyMail.com can also reveal that Cullors paid for the $1.4million Topanga Canyon home in cash.
‘There is no mortgage holder on the property,’ a local realtor who checked the title documents confirmed.
The home was purchased by the entity name ‘Abolitionist Entertainment, LLC,’ the realtor said.
It was registered by the State of California on August 3, 2020, with online records showing Patrisse Cullors listed as a ‘member.’
‘TRAINED MARXIST’ PATRISSE CULLORS’ $3M PROPERTY PORTFOLIO
In April, Cullors raised eyebrows when it emerged that she had spent $1.4 million on a Los Angeles property – her fourth home, and her third in the city – in an overwhelmingly white neighborhood.
The plush property, located in Topanga Canyon, comes complete with a separate guest house and an expansive back yard.
Cullors and her husband also purchased a ‘custom ranch’ on 3.2 acres in Conyers, Georgia last year for $415,000.
The residence boasts its own pool and airplane hangar.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Cullors raised eyebrows when it emerged that she had spent $1.4 million on this residence in ritzy Topanga Canyon
CONYERS, GEORGIA: Cullors and her husband also purchased a ‘custom ranch’ on 3.2 acres last year
Additionally, property records show Cullors has bought two other Los Angeles homes in recent years.
In 2016, she is said to have paid $510,000 for a three-bedroom home in Inglewood.
In 2018, Cullors added another home to her property portfolio, by laying down $590,000 for a four-bedroom home in South L.A., the Post says.
The New York Post reported that Cullors was also ‘eyeing property at the ultra-exclusive Albany resort outside Nassau in the Bahamas where Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods have homes.’ The publication didn’t cite sources for its information.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: According to property records, Cullors also owns this LA home
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Cullors also owns a third LA property