Black Lives Matter Grassroots activists filed a lawsuit against the current head of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation on Friday for allegedly siphoning over $10 million in donor funds to his consulting firm.
The lawsuit referred to Shalomyah Bowers, the current leader of BLMGNF, as a “rogue administrator” responsible for the multiple recent investigations brought against BLM by the IRS.
The activists claim that over 300 BLM leaders and founders called for Bowers to resign from his position with BLMGNF. They accused him of remaining in his “cushy offices devising a scheme of fraud and misrepresentation” while the rest of the BLM movement was “on the street risking their lives.”
The case read, “Instead of using the donations for its intended purposes, Mr. Bowers diverted these donations to his own coffers and intentionally took calculated steps to prevent those same resources from being used by BLM for on-the-ground movement work during the Buffalo Massacre and the Jayland Walker protests in Akron, Ohio.”
According to the lawsuit, BLMGNF was launched in 2017 by one of the movement’s founders, Patrisse Cullors. It was created as an administrative organization to raise funds for the various chapters scattered around the nation, known as Black Lives Matter Grassroots.
In 2020, Cullors hired Bowers and his consulting firm to handle the administration of BLMGNF, according to the lawsuit. A year later, Cullors decided to step down from the organization and wind down BLMGNF by creating a formal transition plan.
The case accused Bowers of defying the transition plan and gaining complete control of the organization by electing new board members.
The lawsuit stated, “At all times, GNF continued to raise money under the auspices that it would be used to support the form of BLM Grassroots.”
The activists accused Bowers of denying them access to social media accounts by changing passwords. In addition, they stated that the organization published posts on social media that went against the messaging of the movement and damaged BLM’s reputation.
The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages for “lost donations, reputation harm, damage to goodwill, increased costs.”
BLMGNF responded to the claims, stating they are “slanderous and devoid of reality.” The organization alleged that on over 10 occasions, the board had requested to meet with BLM Grassroots to discuss social media policies and come to an agreement.
The post by BLMGNF also stated that Cullors never made a transition plan requiring the organization to hand over all assets to BLM Grassroots.
(H/T: Daily Caller News Foundation)