Last month, Black Lives Matter rioter Montez Terriel Lee Jr. was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for burning down a Minneapolis pawn shop during the George Floyd riots in May of 2020. A person died as a result of his actions, and sentencing guidelines called for incarceration time of nearly double what he received.
But Joe Biden's Justice Department intervened, stating in a memo that even though Lee "committed a crime that cost a man his life," his motives for committing the crime merited a lesser sentence. It said that his actions were justified because he was "caught up in the fury of the mob after living as a black man watching his peers suffer at the hands of police."
"To me, I can't believe they're saying that stuff out loud," responds Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND). "Never mind the crime that's been committed openly … but because it's in the name of Black Lives Matter, nothing is being done about it, because they know that white people are afraid of being called racist."
Peterson says showing such leniency toward criminals who have committed "heinous crimes" is "dangerous" and putting "all of our lives" at risk.
Project 21: BLM obviously is above the law
In a similar vein, a conservative activist with Project 21 doesn't think BLM will be held accountable in a probe of the organization's financial records.
In a January 31 letter, the California Department of Justice accused the radical organization – which is legally a charity – of failing to submit its annual financial reports and alleging the group was in delinquent status. The DOJ says the leaders of BLM could be personally liable if the organization fails to disclose the financial records of $60 million in charitable donations within the next 60 days.
California's letter follows an order from the State of Washington instructing BLM to "immediately cease" fundraising in the state due to its "lack of financial transparency" – and Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has also expressed concerns about BLM fundraising, suggesting the organization is an "illegal enterprise."
Richard Holt, a political consultant and member of the Project 21 Black Leadership Network, says BM has to be held to the same standards as every other non-profit organization.
"I think it's really dishonest for them to advocate for Marxism and government control and high taxes, and then try to avoid having to pay taxes themselves by being a nonprofit organization," Holt tells AFN. "I think that's a little bit hypocritical.
"But they do have a right to do that in America – and California and these other states also have the right to expect them to file their paperwork properly like every other organization."
But the Project 21 member isn't optimistic there's going to be any accountability.
"I don't see it [happening]. I really think these people are above the law. I could be wrong and I'd like to be wrong, but I can't see anybody going after them," Holt offers.
"The whole time Trump was president they were waging war on our country – and what did Republicans do? Did they bring them in then? Of course not! If they weren't going to do it then, why should we expect them to do something about it in the future?"
Editor's note: Comments from Richard Holt added after story was originally published.