A Wisconsin domestic violence shelter lost thousands in funding and multiple law enforcement groups cut ties with the non-profit after it declared its support for Black Lives Matter.
The shelter called Embrace, which serves around 90,000 people across four counties, lost $25,000 in funding from Barron County and at least 14 law enforcement groups out of 17 total partners ended their relationship with the domestic violence organization, according to CNN. Embrace proclaimed their support for BLM in a statement on their webpage in September, CNN reported.
“In the midst of a national uprising and dialogue on state violence, Embrace adds their voices affirming the humanity and dignity of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC),” the statement read.
“We share the global grief over the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery as well as the shootings of Jacob Blake, and the many other acts of racist violence perpetrated against Black people over the past 400 years in this country,” the organization continued.
Embrace also claimed America “must grapple with our country’s long history of racism, slavery, genocide, and colonization.”
The Washburn County Sheriff’s Office in a Friday Facebook post announced the end of its partnership with the organization. The law enforcement body did not provide a reason for their departure, but claimed other police departments were following suit.
The Spooner Police Department reportedly cut ties with Embrace and the Barron County Sheriff’s Office is seeking an alternative to the organization, according to CNN.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald resigned from the board of Embrace following the announcement, citing concerns that the organization’s support for BLM included an endorsement of “defunding the police.”
“Because some of these social issues were for defunding the police, I’m not going to be part of an agency that supports anything to do with defunding the police,” he said in an interview, according to CNN.
Executive director of Embrace Katie Bement called the law enforcement response to the organization’s announcement “problematic.” (RELATED: Here’s A List Of Corporations Funding The ‘Defund The Police’ Movement)
“It’s really problematic, because I know that program has saved lives, Bement told CNN. “We never expected our funding to be held hostage or to have joint services benefiting survivors dismantled.”
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