Black Lives Matter paid its co-founder’s baby daddy almost five times more than it gave to the Trayvon Martin Foundation – a nonprofit dedicated to the legacy of the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, which kicked off the BLM movement.
Patrisse Cullors, the former executive director and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, paid a company owned by Damon Turner $969,459 for “live production, design and media,” according to its latest IRS filings. The New York Post reported that Turner’s company, a for-profit organization, which is known for selling $145 sweatshirts and soliciting donations for abstract causes known as “the movement,” received the second-highest payout from Black Lives Matter in the fiscal year 2020.
Turner, a rapper and artist, is the father of Cullors’ son and manages a Los Angeles-based entertainment and clothing company called Trap Heals LLC. Turner is a frequent recipient of Cullors’ redirection of money raised for nonprofit causes. In 2019, Turner’s company received $63,500 from Reform LA Jails, a state-level political action committee controlled by Cullors that had the mission of working toward criminal justice reform.
While Cullors used money raised through charitable donations to pay the father of her child nearly $1 million, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation paid the Florida-based Trayvon Martin Foundation just $200,000, according to IRS filings.
The Trayvon Martin Foundation was established by Martin’s parents to “provide emotional and financial support to families who have lost a child to gun violence,” according to its website. Trayvon Martin’s 2012 death led to the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The IRS filings disclosing the questionable spending by Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation show that the company raked in $76,872,002 in charitable donations in fiscal year 2020 and paid out $25,997,945 in grants to other nonprofit organizations.
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s largest payout was just over $2 million and went to Bowers Consulting Firm, which is owned by Shalomyah Bowers, a current board member of the foundation. According to IRS filings, the money was paid to Bowers for “administrative support, general consulting, strategy, design … and staff management under the direction of the executive director.”
The foundation also paid $840,993 to Cullors Protection LLC, a private security firm owned by Patrisse Cullors’ eldest brother. According to the IRS filings, the payments were for “professional security services.” Cullors Protection LLC was established in July 2020 and currently provides security for the foundation’s $6 million Los Angeles headquarters.