Activist Group Founded By Shaun King Faces Setbacks As Volunteers Wonder About Donations

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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An organization started by Black Lives Matter activist and New York Daily News columnist Shaun King faced major setbacks this week after volunteers expressed concern over the group’s lack of transparency and its finances.

After days of questioning from the project’s volunteers, King finally provided an update on Justice Together’s status in a Facebook post on Friday. He said the organization, which kicked off in August with a goal of creating policies in all 50 status to address police brutality, will undergo a “course correction.”

Instead of operating chapters in every state, Justice Together would scale back to operating just one chapter in Georgia, announced King, who became a prominent national activist following last year’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

In another major blow to Justice Together, Deray McKesson, a fellow Black Lives Matter activist, announced that he would be leaving his position on the group’s board of directors.

In explaining Justice Together’s failure to launch, King claimed that one roadblock the project faced was that it had proved difficult to verify volunteers’ identities.

“Many people were not who they claimed to be,” King wrote. “Many people refused to provide any identity verification. Many people refused to take necessary steps and, quality control, of trying to start chapters in 50 states and 300 college campuses, became damn near impossible – particularly as we struggled to even tell if some people were real or sincere.”

One field director rebutted that claim, however, pointing out that Justice Together’s website required volunteers to verify their identities from three web formats.

Volunteers have voiced a litany of other complaints against King’s work on Justice Together. He had failed to meet self-imposed deadlines and also ignored volunteers who asked for updates on the project and for transparency into its finances. King also suddenly closed down the real-time messaging system used by Justice Together volunteers.

And when confronted with those questions, King used intimidation tactics to avoid answering them, some volunteers have claimed.

Another activist took issue with King’s refusal to answer questions about funding and also accused him of “silencing Black women” by blocking them on social media for questioning him.

King addressed accusations that he may have mishandled Justice Together donations in a Facebook post on Sunday.

“Folk stating that I am profiteering off of this movement are not just misinformed, they are lying,” King wrote, asserting that the group has only raised $9,000 online from 88 donors.

“We’ve raised $575 this month – which hardly covers our MailChimp account,” he wrote, adding that Justice Together will file its taxes next year.

Other social justice activists said that King’s absentee handling of Justice Together is similar to his work with other groups.

Rachel McShane, a professor and activist who now works with the Coalition Against Police Violence, tweeted that King had refused to discuss donations flowing into another group he founded called JTA.

[h/t Breitbart News, Twitchy]

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