Mothers who have lost their sons during police shooting incidents are criticizing Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who recently announced that she was parting ways with the group.
“They are benefiting off the blood of our loved ones, and they won’t even talk to us,” Samaria Rice, the mother of a 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by Cleveland police in 2014, told the New York Post. “I don’t believe she is going anywhere.”
Cullors, the executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, recently announced she was leaving the organization amid controversies surrounding the group’s finances and her personal acquisition of $3.2 million in real estate purchases.
Rice described the announcement as a “facade” and predicted that Cullors was “only saying that to get the heat off her right now.”
“They are benefiting off the blood of our loved ones, and they won’t even talk to us,” said Rice.
Lisa Simpson, who claims she never received funds that the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles chapter raised after Los Angeles Police Department officers shot and killed her 18-year-old son Richard Risher in 2016, similarly said that the director was personally profiting from BLM’s fundraising.
She was “raising money in our dead sons’ names and giving us nothing in return,” Simpson told the outlet.
“Now, she doesn’t have to show her accountability,” she said. “She can just take the money and run.”
Back in March 2021, the two mothers released a statement in which they told Tamika Mallory, Shaun King, Benjamin Crump, Lee Merritt, Melina Abdullah, Cullors, and other leaders of the movement to “step down, stand back, and stop … capitalizing our fight for justice.”
“We never hired them to be the representatives in the fight for justice for our dead loved ones murdered by the police,” the joint statement read. “The ‘activists’ have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones’ images and names on their flyers. We don’t want or need y’all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken.”
“We don’t want or need y’all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken. Dont’s say our loved ones’ names period! That’s our truth!” the duo added.
The BLM Global Network Foundation has raised more than $90 million in donations, according to disclosures.