Staffers for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden announced that they have donated to a group that pays bail fees in Minneapolis as riots over the death of George Floyd consume the city.
At least 13 Biden campaign staffers wrote on Twitter on Friday and Saturday that they have donated to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which says it supports the protesters.
The group opposes cash bail and says it “pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing,” according to its website.
“We are in awe of the support coming through right now,” the group stated.
Biden opposes cash bail as a “modern day debtors prison,” the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Reuters.
Riots broke out in Minneapolis and other cities across the country last week and continued through the weekend over the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody after a since-fired police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for several minutes during an arrest.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said officials believe “white supremacists” and “out-of-state instigators” were involved in the protests. Governor Tim Walz also said over the weekend that the majority of the protestors arrested were from outside Minneapolis.
Rioters in Minneapolis burned police cars and buildings — including a police precinct building — smashed storefronts, and looted merchandise last week. Many did not wear face masks intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,”Walz said Sunday. “It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities.”
The riots spread to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. over the weekend.
In a statement, the Trump campaign called it “disturbing” that the Biden campaign “would financially support the mayhem that is hurting innocent people and destroying what good people spent their lives building.”
“It’s also troubling that Biden himself has failed to condemn the rioting in his public remarks,” the statement said.