The Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) acknowledged in a statement posted to Twitter last Friday someone who they had bailed out is now charged with murder.
George Howard, 47-year-old from Minneapolis, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of the 38-year-old victim during a road rage incident last Wednesday, according to KSTP. Police arrested Howard after seeing surveillance footage showing the confrontation, where Luis Damian Martinez Ortiz walks up to Howard's car. Howard drives off after Ortiz can be been falling down. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest. Due to a prior conviction, Howard is unable to possess a firearm.
Fox 9 reported the MFF bailed out Howard on August 6, according to court records, after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge.
The MFF confirmed Howard had been "previously provided with bail support," but added, "Under new leadership, MFF has implemented changes to its policies and procedures, and we will continue to assess them to ensure that we are being responsive to the safety and needs of our community."
MFF believes that every individual who has been arrested by the law enforcement is innocent until proven guilty, and if a judge deems them eligible for bail, they should not have to wait in jail simply because they don’t have the same income or access to resources as others.— Minnesota Freedom Fund (@MNFreedomFund) September 3, 2021
MFF is closely monitoring developments in the case and will share more information as additional facts become known.— Minnesota Freedom Fund (@MNFreedomFund) September 3, 2021
Then-Sen. Kamala Harris asked her Twitter followers to donate to the MFF so they could bail out protesters in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd while in police custody, which sparked widespread and destructive riots in Minnesota and across the country. The main officer in question, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty this year for Floyd's murder.
Harris' tweet promoting the MFF is still on her account.
The MFF has come under intense criticism for bailing out few protesters, mostly because they do not need to bail out as often they are given a citation and released, and instead using the money raised for posting bail for people who have been charged with serious crimes, such as murder.