New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday ordered the Black Lives Matter Foundation, a California-based charity with no ties to the Black Lives Matter movement, to stop soliciting donations from New Yorkers after the organization has been criticized for misleading those who want to contribute to the movement to end police brutality.
Attorney General James said the Black Lives Matter Foundation has not registered as a charitable organization in the state of New York, which makes any contributions solicited within the state illegal. Without the registration, the organization doesn't have to disclose to New York donors on how their donations will be used.
"That’s why we are taking action by demanding that the foundation stop soliciting contributions from New Yorkers. I encourage all donors to practice due diligence when giving to charities," James said.
Similarly, the California Attorney General last year issued a cease and desist order against the foundation after it failed to file annual financial reports.
Buzzfeed News reported last month that employees of Google, Apple and Microsoft raised millions of dollars for the charity, thinking that they were affiliated with the BLM movement.
In a description of the charity, its founder Robert Ray Barnes said, “Crime exists now and will forever continue, so we desperately need the services of the police; however, we need the services of good police.”
On the other hand, the Black Lives Matter movement is a global network of different groups that use the same name. It's not a nonprofit and has used different names such as Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. and Black Lives Matter Global Network.
“The Santa Clarita group is improperly using our name,” the BLM spokesperson told Buzzfeed News. “We intend to call them out and follow up.”