Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King apparently used donor funds to purchase an award-winning show dog which he later returned for having a ‘little too much energy.’
King’s political action committee, Grassroots Law, made two contributions to California-based Potrero Performance Dogs in the last year, finance disclosures revealed. The funds, totaling more than $40,000, were for ‘contractor services.’
Days after Grassroots made its second contribution in February, King welcomed Marz, a Potrero-bred thoroughbred, to his family. The dog was returned to the breeder last month.
King has battled allegations of fraud for many years, but has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing in connection to Grassroots, which he founded to help get soft-on-crime officials elected to office.
Skepticisms surrounding King’s contributions to Potrero come as BLM-backed politicians and organizational leaders face scrutiny over the misuse of charity funds.
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King allegedly used donor funds to purchase an award-winning show dog which he later returned for having a ‘little too much energy’
Grassroots Law paid $10,000 to Potrero in December 2021 and another $30,650 on February 16.
King then obtained Marz a few days later, announcing the addition of the American Kennel Club competitor to his family a since-deleted Facebook post.
He claimed Marz would offer ‘alertness and protection,’ as well as serve as the King family pet, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
However, the dog – who won best in show at an AKC competition last month – was reportedly recently returned to the breeder.
Potrero, also in a since deleted social media post, said Marz had ‘a little too much energy to be a family dog so he came back.’
Grassroots Law contributed nearly the same amount of money to Potrero as it did to political candidates in the last year. Campaign finance disclosures revealed the PAC has given $56,000 to politicians and political hopefuls since 2021.
Days after the second Grassroots donation, King welcomed thoroughbred Marz to his family. Marz won best in show at an AKC competition last month (pictured)
King’s political action committee, Grassroots Law, donated more than $40K to California-based Potrero Performance Dogs in the last year, finance disclosures revealed
King has also been accused of fraud on various occasions, including by the mother of Tamir Rice – a 12-year-old Ohio boy killed by Cleveland police – who claims he held unauthorized fundraisers in her son’s name.
Last December the Real Justice PAC, which King cofounded, was ordered to pay the city of Philadelphia $30,000 after having admitted to making omissions in its finance reports while working on District Attorney Larry Krasner’s campaign.
In 2019, King released an audit claiming he received a monthly salary of $4,166 from Real Justice PAC and ‘no compensation at all’ from Grassroots predecessor Action PAC.
He alleged he was ‘literally the only person’ on the PAC’s staff who didn’t receive a salary, saying: ‘I have not received a salary or a stipend of any kind for the entire year. I do it all for free.’
That same year, he was accused by former ally DeRay Mckesson of following a ‘uniform pattern’ of fraud for many years.
In an open letter, Mckesson alleged King acted in ways that ‘compromise others, compromise the collective work, and compromise a shared sense of integrity.’
King has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
King (pictured in Sept. 2019) has been accused of fraud on various occasions over the last several years, but has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing in connection to Grassroots. He has denied all allegations of wrongdoing
Grassroots Law paid $10,000 to Potrero in December 2021 and another $30,650 on February 16. King obtained Marz (pictured) just days after the second contribution was made
News of King’s family pet comes just days after failed Democratic congressional candidate Karen Carter Peterson was hit wire fraud charges for inappropriately using campaign and party funds after admitting to a gambling addiction.
Peterson is a former State Senator from Louisiana and longtime chair of the state’s Democratic Party who came in second place in the Democratic primary to represent the state’s 2nd District in Washington.
She was the only candidate for federal office BLM endorsed in this election cycle, spending more than $100,000 in independent expenditures on her failed campaign through their political action committee, according to Fox News.
Things have spiraled for Peterson since losing the primary. In April, she resigned from her state senate seat and admitted to being a gambling addict. In July, she was charged with wire fraud for using campaign donations on personal expenses.
She signed a plea deal admitting to taking money from campaign and party coffers to four individuals and four companies who would then allegedly cash the check and give Peterson the money, the Louisiana Illuminator reported.
Peterson would then take the money and either gamble or use it for other personal expenses, along the way filing what the Department of Justice called ‘false and misleading’ campaign finance reports.
The BLM movement first emerged in 2013. Co-founders Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza are pictured in November 2016
News of King’s family pet comes just days after failed Democratic congressional candidate Karen Carter Peterson (pictured July 2021) was hit wire fraud charges for inappropriately using campaign and party funds after admitting to a gambling addiction
Peterson was the only candidate for federal office BLM endorsed, spending more than $100,000 on her failed campaign through their political action committee. A BLM protester is pictured in April 2021
The Black Lives Matter PAC is a BLM Global Network Foundation-affiliated committee. It’s another example of the national Black Lives Matter organization’s spending coming into question.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation in mid-May released a 63-page Form 990, covering the fiscal year from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, at which point the group had $42 million in net assets.
This is BLM foundation’s first public accounting of its finances since incorporating in 2017.
The tax filing shows that nearly $6 million was spent on a Los Angeles-area compound. The Studio City property, which includes a home with six bedrooms and bathrooms, a swimming pool, a soundstage and office space, was intended as a campus for a black artists fellowship and is currently used for that purpose, the board member said.
Co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who resigned last year after it was revealed she amassed a $3.2 million property portfolio, has used the property twice for personal reasons – once for a Biden inauguration party, and another time for her son’s birthday. She paid $390 for its use, according to tax filings.
The filings also show that Cullors used charity funds to pay her friends and family large sums for various ‘consulting’ services, as well as charter a private flight.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is still worth tens of millions of dollars, despite spending more than $37 million on grants, real estate, consultants, and other expenses, according to tax documents filed with the IRS.
Black Lives Matter spent millions on luxury properties in Los Angeles and in Toronto – including a $6.3 million 10,000-square-foot property in Canada that was purchased as part of a $8M ‘out of country grant’. On Tuesday, the organization released its tax filings, which showed that it had $42M in assets. Its co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, stepped down last year after it was revealed she amassed a $3.2M property portfolio
The Toronto mansion was purchased with funds that came from an $8M BLMGNF grant
Black Lives Matter spent $6M on a mansion in Studio City, California
That investment is expected to become an endowment to ensure the foundation’s work continues in the future, organizers say.
The BLM movement first emerged in 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.
But it was the 2014 death of Michael Brown at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri, that made the slogan ‘Black lives matter’ a rallying cry for progressives and a favorite target of derision for conservatives.
The foundation ended its last fiscal year – from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 – with nearly $42 million in net assets. It had an operating budget of about $4 million, according to a board member.
THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF BLM CO-FOUNFER PATRISSE CULLORS WHO GOT PAID
BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors received $120,000 for ‘consulting fees’ and reimbursed BLM $73,523 for a charter flight.
She denies taking money from BLM for personal matters and says all purchases – including a lavish $6mm LA home – were legitimate.
The father of Cullors’ child, Damon Turner, was paid nearly $970,000 to help ‘produce live events’
Her brother, Paul Cullors, received more than $840,000 for providing security services to the foundation.
Fellow BLM director Shalomyah Bowers was paid more than $2.1 million for providing operational support.
As a fledgling nonprofit, it had been under the fiscal sponsorship of a well-established charity, and wasn´t required to publicly disclose its financials until it became an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit in December 2020.
The tax filing suggests the organization is still finding its footing: It currently has no executive director or in-house staff.
Nonprofit experts told the AP that the BLM foundation seems to be operating like a scrappy organization with far fewer resources, although some say black-led charities face unfair scrutiny in an overwhelmingly white and wealthy philanthropic landscape.
The tax filings released revealed that BLM paid a company owned by Damon Turner, the father of co-founder Patrisse Cullors’ child, nearly $970,000 to help ‘produce live events’ and provide other ‘creative services.’
The co-founder’s brother, Paul Cullors, received more than $840,000 for providing security services to the foundation.
Leaders have attempted to justify the expense by saying the foundation’s protection could not be entrusted to former police professionals who typically run security firms because the BLM movement is known for vehemently protesting law enforcement organizations.
Last year, when Cullors revealed the windfall of donations, local chapter organizers and families of police brutality victims reacted angrily.
Until then, the foundation had not been transparent with the most devoted BLM organizers, many of whom accused Cullors of shutting them out of decisions about how financial resources would be allocated.
The foundation will launch a ‘transparency and accountability center’ on its website to make its financial documents available for public inspection, Bowers said.