Late last month, the Minnesota Freedom Fund board chair was taken into custody on suspicion of possessing fentanyl.
The arrest of Valentina McKenzie on August 31 at 10:35 p.m. at the intersection of 78th Street East and 12th Avenue East was verified by the Bloomington Police Department to Alpha News.
Deputy Chief Kimberly Clauson stated, “She was booked and released from our jail pending out of custody charges.”
According to Clauson, police filed a request for charges on September 1 with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor possession of an open package of marijuana in a motor vehicle and felony fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, specifically fentanyl.
As of Wednesday morning, no charges had been brought, and a request for comment from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office was not answered.
The board chair of the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Valentina McKenzie, was taken into custody on Thursday, August 31, in Bloomington, the organization can confirm. There are no charges on file. Noble Frank, the director of communications for Minnesota Freedom Fund, released a statement saying, “We will have no further comment at this time out of respect for the legal process.”
The charity bail fund was established in 2016, but it became well-known during the riots and protests that followed George Floyd’s death because it offered to free any demonstrators who were taken into custody. After being advocated online by a number of celebrities, including Vice President Kamala Harris, the fund raised tens of millions of dollars.
Since then, the organization has faced harsh criticism from the public due to its habit of supporting violent offenders, according to Crime Watch Minneapolis.
The group declared in February that it has formed MFF Action, a sister organization that will advocate to state legislators for the elimination of cash bail in Minnesota.
“The cash bail system criminalizes poverty by keeping less wealthy and legally innocent people behind bars while more wealthy and accused of the same crime are released from jail. In response to earlier criticism, MFF stated, “We work to extend the same constitutional right to cash bail to everyone, regardless of their wealth.”
“Dedicated to abolishing prison one step at a time starting with ending the cash bail system,” is how McKenzie describes her commitment to the MFF in her bio.