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Four Queens Lawmakers Donate Campaign Funds From Police Groups to Bail Funds

State Sen. Mike Gianaris (nysenate.gov)

June 1, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Four Queens lawmakers pledged to donate thousands of dollars in campaign funds received from police groups to bail out protesters arrested demonstrating against the death of George Floyd.

Assembly Members Aravella Simotas and Catalina Cruz, State Sen. Michael Gianaris and City Council Member Francisco Moya each donated contributions from police PACs to New York City organizations that are collecting money to bail out those protesters arrested.

Thousands of protesters marched across the five boroughs over the weekend after Floyd, a black man, was killed during an arrest by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Some interactions between the NYPD and protesters over the weekend turned violent. In one incident, a NYPD patrol car was seen driving into a crowd of protesters.

Several local officials condemned what they said was an excessive use of force by some officers and vowed to steer campaign contributions from police groups to bail funds for protesters.

Sen. Gianaris decried aggressive actions taken by NYPD officers during the protests. He called the incidents — such as an officer shoving a young woman to the ground — “heartbreaking and unacceptable.”

“What’s really disgusting is when people exercising their right to protest injustice get assaulted by the same officers who are supposed to protect that right,” he wrote on Twitter.

Gianaris vowed to donate all contributions he received from police PACs for his reelection to bail funds and mutual aid organizations.

Gianaris has taken at least $11,500 from police PACs, including the state and city police benevolent associations, according to campaign filings for the 2020 election cycle. He promised that he would no longer accept contributions from police PACs.

“I am donating all contributions received from police PACs for my re-election to bail funds and mutual aid organizations, and I will not accept them going forward,” he wrote on Twitter. “We need to call out injustice, but most of all we must act.”

Assembly Member Simotas also said she would allocate police PAC money to help get protesters out of jail. She plans to donate $5,350 from police-affiliated groups to the New York City bail fund and organizations “working to end mass incarceration,” she posted on Twitter.

Assembly Member Cruz followed suit and will donate the $1,000 her campaign received from law enforcement unions to a bail fund.

“I stand with our community, there won’t be peace until we all draw a clear line in the sand and fight for what’s right,” Cruz said. “All day every day.”

Council Member Moya tweeted a photo of a check for $1,000 written out to the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.

He received the money from a law enforcement PAC and said he will no longer accept law enforcement donations.

“We need real change, now,” Moya tweeted.

The redistribution of funds came after a Queens Democratic Socialists of America organizer, Aaron Fernando, put pressure on the politicians to return the funds on Twitter.

Fernando called Gianaris’ donation huge news and praised all the officials who used police PAC funds to bail out protesters.

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that New York politics have changed dramatically in the last 48 hours,” he wrote.

Fernando said his goal is to make law enforcement campaign contributions “as toxic as real estate money.”

“So you can’t even take a dime of cop money without getting a primary challenger — it should be that toxic,” he said.

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5 Comments

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FromLICQueens

If they bail out looters, they should be personally liable for the looting committed afterwards by those individuals.

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CB2

“bail out” looters? bail reform means that most looters won’t have to post bail at all. they are free to walk. thanks mayor bill!

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Imagine being this gullible

Yes that’s exactly how it works lol. Sorry can you cite the part that says “most looters won’t have to post bail at all?” That’s completely wrong

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If the made up scenario you described happened

They are bailing out being that protested police murdering George Floyd.

They aren’t bailing out looters, you’re complete wrong again. If you scroll up there’s a whole article about it.

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Anonymous

No comments from our distinguished politicians about businesses destroyed, civilians being attacked and beat to a pulp, cars, garbage, business on fire, the city is being run into the ground by anarchists and rioters and you are bailing them out?!!! How dare you!!!! There is no democracy in NYC only the radical left. Gianaris you have COMPLETELY FAILED your law abiding citizens!! Walk on the street and peacefully protest like many of us did, all races, don’t come at cops, they don’t know if you have knife, gun, don’t throw bricks at them..fueling even more hatred when we clearly have the most diverse police force who condemn the actions of a rogue cop!!! But nooooo!!! All cops are bad you say and city politicians do the same, spinning it to their political agenda. You introduced the crazy bail reform, mayor released them, bur law abiding citizens have to shelter in place and keep businesses closed while being looted?! Not voting for any of you, radicals, this is not a democracy! This is turning into a third world county when local gangs run parts of the town with politicians like you exploiting the masses.

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