Bail Program Backed by Kamala Harris Releases Man now Charged with Murder

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with poll workers and election officials on July 21
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

When Vice President Kamala Harris was campaigning in 2020 she expressed support for a leftist group promoting bailing out prisoners and now one of the men set free in Minneapolis because of the program has been charged with murder.

“If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota,” Harris tweeted in June 2020 and linked to the group’s donation site on ActBlue, a Democrat political action committee (PAC).

Fox News reported on the shooting:

George Howard, 48, allegedly became involved in a road rage altercation on an Interstate 94 entrance ramp before he shot another driver, according to Minneapolis police – weeks after bailing out on domestic assault charges.

Surveillance video recorded the moments when the driver of a blue BMW confronted Howard, who was driving a white Volvo, according to St. Paul’s KSTP-TV. The victim can be seen punching Howard, then collapsing.

The victim, later identified as Luis Damian Martinez Ortiz, 38, got back into his car, then drove into the median. He was pronounced dead at the hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest, according to city officials.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund paid the $11,500 bond to get Howard out of jail where he was facing domestic abuse charges.

Howard was released on August 6 and on August 29 he was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund tweeted Friday about the development and its role in Howard’s release. Fox reported the thread was inaccessible on Twitter but preserved by the Internet Archive:

“We are aware of reports of the tragic and fatal shooting in Minneapolis earlier this week allegedly involving George Howard, an individual the Minnesota Freedom Fund had previously provided with bail support,” the group wrote. “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.”

“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,” Fox said the group said in a follow-up tweet.

“Minneapolis-based FOX 9 reported that the fund spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to free an alleged knife murderer and a convicted rapist who was facing charges of sexual assault and kidnapping, among others,” Fox News reported.

 A spokesperson for the Harris declined to comment, according to the Fox report.

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