Authorities Charge Man With Murder After Minnesota Freedom Fund, Backed By Kamala Harris, Helped Bail Him Out

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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A man who was freed by a jail fund promoted by Vice President Kamala Harris has been accused of murder, according to reports.

George Howard, 47, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder following a deadly road-rage incident, according to KSTP. Howard allegedly shot and killed 38-year-old Damian Martinez Ortiz in late August, according to the report. The two were allegedly engaged in an altercation while on a ramp entering an interstate.

Howard had been out of jail on a $11,500 bond in connection with a domestic assault case. The Minnesota Freedom Fund bailed him out earlier in August, according to Fox News.

The fund acknowledged Friday its role in bailing out Howard, but the Twitter thread was unavailable as of Tuesday. A copy of the thread is accessible through the Internet Archive.

“We are aware of reports of the tragic and fatal shooting in Minneapolis earlier this week allegedly involving George Howard, an individual the Minnesota Freedom Fund had previously provided with bail support,” the group said in a tweet. “MFF believes that every individual who has been arrested by the law enforcement is innocent until proven guilty, and if a judge deems them eligible for bail, they should not have to wait in jail simply because they don’t have the same income or access to resources as others.” (RELATED: Here Are Three People Accused Of Violent Crimes Bailed Out Of Jail By Fund Kamala Harris Supported)

The group added that it is under new leadership and implementing several changes to its policies to ensure the safety of its community.

Harris encouraged people in 2020 to donate to the fund to “help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.”

Several individuals who have been bailed by the fund have been subsequently charged with other crimes. A Minneapolis man who was twice bailed out by the fund was arrested again in December and was charged with three new felony charges in February. The fund also helped bail out six men accused of domestic violence between June and August of 2020, documents obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation show.