Federal Government Gives Millions To ‘Justice Reform Change Agent’ That Supports Defunding The Police

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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The federal government funded millions of dollars to a Brooklyn-based non-profit group this year that advocates to defund the police, The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday.

The Vera Institute of Justice has received more than $89 million in contracts and grants from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services this year, The Washington Free Beacon reported. The government has funded $811 million to the organization since 2008, according to the report.

The non-profit, which refers to itself as the “justice reform change agent,” became an avid voice in support of taking funds away from U.S. police departments since George Floyd’s death in May 2020, the outlet reported. Nicholas Turner, the organization’s president, has said that the Vera Institute is “committed” to defunding the police.

“Vera is committed to dismantling the current culture of policing and working toward solutions that defund police and shift power to communities,” Turner said in a June 8, 2020, statement. “Now is the time to stop tinkering with police reform and to enact wholesale change. We’re building on this unique moment of public awareness, outrage, and calls to defund the police.”

Vera receives most of its funding in order to represent illegal aliens and refugees and has been given grants by the Justice Department in order to assist crime victims, the outlet reported. (RELATED: ‘A Violent Institution’: These Celebrities Are Funding The ‘Defund The Police’ Movement)

Vera Officer Jamila Hodge said the criminal justice system “dehumanizes and devalues Black people” which stems from the nation’s history of slavery, according to the Free Beacon.

The organization also released a statement following the death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, who charged a girl with a knife, prompting a police officer to shoot her.

“When Ma’Khia Bryant dialed 9-1-1, she needed help,” Vera said in the statement. “Instead of assistance, she was shot and killed by Columbus police. Her death underscores that our emergency system does not keep Black and brown children and communities safe.”

“Vera stands with communities across the country in condemning police violence and calling for a new vision of public safety,” the statement continued. “We need different, non-lethal, non-police responses to people in crisis. We will continue to demand transparency and accountability.”

In their fight to dismantle police, Vera has reportedly partnered with left-wing prosecutors, including Kimberly Foxx. Foxx came under fire after dropping charges against Jussie Smollett for filing a fake police report, following his alleged, fake hate crime in 2020, according to the outlet. The organization will be hosting an event with the prosecutor next week, along with Communist Party USA Member Angela Davis.

Vera additionally partners with Boston district attorney Rachael Rollins, who supported the Grassroots Law Project, which advocates for defunding police, according to the outlet. The project “bridges the gap between grassroots organizing and legal expertise in criminal justice reform by bringing millions of us together to address the most pressing and egregious failures of the system,” the website states.

The crime surge throughout American cities increased simultaneously as police departments were defunded and struggled to recruit new officers throughout the summer of 2020 and early 2021. Homicides rose by 45% in New York City and 36% in Los Angeles last year, prompting cities to reconsider their stance on defunding police.