The case against the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) is over, for now.
According to a release by BLMGNF, the case brought by several grassroots BLM leaders, in particular Los Angeles chapter founder Melina Abdullah, has been dropped.
“Today, a judge dismissed the lawsuit and falsehoods alleged by Melina Abdullah against BLMGNF. The judge, Honorable Stephanie M. Bowick, granted BLMGNF’s motion – stating that ‘the allegations are so confusing and unintelligible it cannot even be determined what Plaintiff (BLMGR/Melina Abdullah) is alleging,'” said the BLMGNF Board in a statement. “During the pendency of this lawsuit, we’ve seen two starkly different versions of abolitionist values on display. Ours has been anchored in love, humanity, and care. We have stayed true to our principles, philanthropic duties, and organizational focus despite countless blatant fabrications, misrepresentations, and innuendos of misdeeds lodged against us. Our tireless efforts toward dismantling the large-scale systems that have been built to perpetuate our trauma will now be able to move forward with the blessing of no wrongdoing from the court system.”
The foundation’s attorney, Byron McLain, also released a statement describing what he felt were falsehoods alleged by Abdullah.
“Today, the frivolous lawsuit by Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots was decided in Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s favor. The judge dismissed all allegations against BLMGNF in the lawsuit in its entirety. The judge determined that Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots failed to establish that they were entitled to any donated funds at issue in the case and determined that BLMGNF did not enrich itself,” he said.
“In September 2022, false and inflammatory allegations were brought against Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and one of the Foundation’s board members, Shalomyah Bowers, through this lawsuit – but we knew that the truth would prevail,” Byron continued. “BLM Grassroots and Melina Abdullah will have to square away a deep hypocrisy that has existed since the onset of this case. They claim to love Black Lives Matter, yet simultaneously worked very hard at trying to dismantle, divide, and destroy it in the past year through this lawsuit, by contradicting and undermining the very principles of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
“As I previously stated, Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots blatantly and intentionally lied with their allegations in order to garner salacious news headlines, or they simply failed to do their due diligence before making such wild and unfounded accusations against my client,” he said. “Either was simply unacceptable – and the legal system confirmed it by granting our motion and dismissing the lawsuit.”
Abdullah has yet to release a statement.
BLM Grassroots, with Abdullah serving as the group’s co-director, claimed that Bowers defrauded chapters by taking funds away from chapter groups and using said money to pay millions into his consulting business.
“Global Network Foundation has been taken away from the people who built it,” said Abdullah in a press conference in 2022. “Global Network Foundation is now led by a highly paid consultant who paid himself upwards of $2 million in a single year.”
Bowers was hired by Patrisse Cullors in 2020, who herself has been at the center of controversy regarding mishandling money for Black Lives Matter. Cullors resigned in 2020 after reports that she bought several residential properties that totaled over $3 million, according to Ebony.
In her resignation announcement, Cullors blamed right-wing organizations for smearing her name and claimed they were trying to discredit her. However, Ebony reported that 10 separate BLM chapter leaders have sounded the alarm regarding potential financial mismanagement. Parents of Black people killed by police have also grown increasingly concerned about the organization’s management of funds, with Tamir Rice’s mother Samaria Rice and Michael Brown Jr.’s father Michael Brown Sr. publicly calling out the organization. Rice claimed that the organization raised money from the blood of the slain children, and Brown urged the organization to donate $20 million to non-profits around Ferguson after it raised money from using his son’s face and name.