Indiana AG vows to gain financial accountability from Black Lives Matter

The foundation has come under criticism for its financial practices. Ten local chapters issued a statement in 2021 seeking greater financial transparency from the parent organization.

Updated: May 1, 2022 - 10:45pm

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Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has filed a petition to gain compliance with a demand for financial information from Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. The action is part of Rokita's investigation into the use of funds donated to the international foundation by Hoosiers.

"There are concerning patterns of behavior from this organization, and we will do what it takes — including this lawsuit — to get to the bottom of it," Rokita said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the foundation said it did not receive Rokita’s request for information until after the petition was filed and it was working with counsel to address the matter immediately.

The foundation has come under criticism for its financial practices. Ten local chapters issued a statement in 2021 seeking greater financial transparency from the parent organization.

BLMGNF raised more than $90 million in 2020 according to its published report for that year and distributed $21.7 million to some 30 local organizations, including Black Lives Matter South Bend. Rokita noted an IRS filing by BLMGNF for the first half of 2020 listed $0 in revenue, expenses and assets for the time period. The foundation's Form 990 tax return for 2020, which was due to the IRS in November, has not yet been filed.

As for the local chapter in South Bend, a spokesperson told The Center Square it has been fully cooperative with the Indiana investigation. "Our chapter has responded to the AG's request for information, and we will have those records submitted by the agreed upon deadline," said the spokesperson.

A later written statement from the chapter read: "Please rest assured that no member of this organization has engaged in self-dealing, and we have used all of our resources to improve our community. We know that accountability and transparency are important to all who support our work. In our mission to serve our community, we believe it is best to cooperate with the Attorney General's investigation by providing what his office requested in their fact-finding venture."

Rokita indicated many Indiana donors have been impacted by BLM's alleged mishandling of funds, but his office did not respond to a request for information on the number of complaints it had received from Hoosier donors.

Founded in 2013, BLMGNF describes itself as a global organization "whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes."

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