On Saturday, representatives of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation met with the Michael Brown Chosen for Change Foundation (CFC) to talk through the issues that exist between the BLM group and the parents of police brutality victims.
The March 20 meeting came at a time when parents of police brutality victims, including Samaria Rice and Michael Brown Sr. have publicly criticized Black Lives Matter activists, accusing them of profiting off of their pain and grief.
Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, and Patrisse Cullors, co-founder and executive director of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation met with the nonprofit CFC in person “with hopes to initiate a relationship, reconcile any misunderstandings, and resolve any issues.”
CFC was organized by Michael Brown Sr. after the unarmed 18-year-old was fatally shot by Ferguson policeman Darren Wilson in 2014.
According to a statement obtained by The Root, CFC was told “that the focus of BLM will always be to end violence against black people, dismantle white supremacy, and fight for a future where black people are liberated from state sanctioned violence.”
The statement also said the groups appreciated CFC’s honesty in helping the group understand why communities and families directly impacted by police brutality are confused about the distribution of funding.
BLM Global Network Foundation revealed in February that it raised over $90 million last year in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Three days after the figure was made public, Brown Sr. and Tory Russell of the International Black Freedom Alliance released a video demanding the BLM group provide financial support to the Ferguson community.
“Where’s all the money going?” Brown Sr. asked in a press release.
“We’re coming for what we deserve,” Russell said.
On March 19, Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, and Lisa Simpson, the mother of Richard Rishner, released a joint statement accusing Black Lives Matter activists of profiting off of police killings of Black youth. Rice was 12 when he was shot and killed by an officer in Cleveland in 2014, and Rishner was 18 when he was gunned down by police in 2016.
“Tamika D. Mallory, Shaun King, Benjamin Crump, Lee Merritt, Patrisse Cullors, Melina Abdullah and the Black Lives Matter Global Network need to step down, stand back, and stop monopolizing and capitalizing off our fight for justice and human rights,” the statement said.
“The ‘activists’ have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones’ images and names on their flyers.”
Rice recently railed against rapper Lil Baby’s Grammy performance that featured a poem by Mallory, co-founder of activist group Until Freedom.
In a statement, CFC said it had not established any “financial relationship or agreement” with BLM Global Network but that the two foundations would continue to develop a working relationship and “focus on fighting for justice for Mike Brown Jr. and support families impacted by community & police violence.”