Man Freed by Kamala Harris-Supported Fund Now Charged With Murder

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A bail fund supported by Vice President Harris freed a man who is now charged for murder in a road rage altercation. The incident happened a few weeks after the Harris-backed fund bailed him out on his domestic assault charges. 

The man previously charged with domestic assault was released after the Minnesota Freedom Fund bailed him out

According to the report of Minneapolis police, George Howard, 48, was allegedly involved in a road rage argument on an Interstate 94 entrance ramp before shooting a driver. Surveillance footage recorded the incident wherein a driver of a blue BMW confronted Howard.


In the video, the driver can be seen punching Howard, and then he collapsed. 

The victim then went back into his car then ran into the median. The man was rushed to the hospital but died after suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest. The victim was later on identified as a 38-year-old man named Luis Damian Martinez Ortiz. 

Court records show that Howard was previously detained in relation to a domestic assault case. However, on August 6, he was released after bailing out on the $11,500 bond. Then, a few days later, on August 29, Howard was charged with murder in relation to the interstate shooting incident.

Minnesota Freedom Fund acknowledged their role in getting Howard back on the streets

Then, on Friday, the Minnesota Freedom Fund posted a tweet acknowledging its role in bringing Howard back into society after they posted his bail. According to the tweet, the group is aware of the reports related to the tragic shooting this week, allegedly involving Howard, with whom the Minnesota Freedom Fund previously granted bail support. 

 

The group likewise noted they are reviewing their policies and closely monitoring the case. In a follow-up Twitter post, the group noted that the MFF made changes to their procedures and policies under their new leadership. They claimed they will keep on assessing their policies in order to make sure they are responsive to the needs and safety of the community. 

Harris supported the group in her campaign and promoted it on her social media account

It can be noted that during her 2020 campaign, Harris was promoting the bail group. She even posted a tweet in June last year, urging her followers to donate to the group. Harris wrote in her post that if people are able to give donations, they should chip into the Minnesota Freedom Fund, linking the donation site of the group. 

Harris’ spokesperson declined to make any comments on Tuesday. The Freedom Fund has attracted criticism, due to concerns the group is bailing out violent criminals. Once the funds are collected by the group, the donors do not have a say in whose bail the money goes towards.

According to reports, the group has spent thousands of dollars to bail out a convicted rapist facing charges of kidnapping and sexual assault, as well as an alleged knife murderer.