Billionaire financier George Soros directed $1 million to a left-wing group that seeks to cut funding to police departments around the country, according to federal records.
Soros sent the funds to the Color of Change PAC on May 14, the Washington Free Beacon reported on July 22, citing Federal Election Commission (FEC) records. The contribution was the largest political contribution made by Soros during the 2021 election cycle.
Color of Change, which describes itself as a racial justice group, has frequently called for the defunding of police departments across the United States, including leading an online campaign to slash funding following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
A petition on the group’s website reads: “TAKE ACTION: Defund the police, and invest in communities now” and “invest in black communities … defund the police.”
“The killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many more at the hands of police violence have left us all outraged, but our movement is stronger than ever,” the petition that was circulated last year reads. “Now it’s up to us to hold them accountable, push for further systemic changes, and not lose the momentum needed to change the institution of policing forever.”
When the Minneapolis City Council last summer considered dismantling its police department amid Black Lives Matter demonstrations and riots, Color of Change head Rashad Robinson issued a statement supporting the move.
“Policing is a violent institution that must end,” Robinson said at the time. “We imagine a country where there is enough money to educate our children, care for our sick, and feed those who are financially unstable. Defunding the police allows for this vision.”
While the defunding movement has lost a significant amount of public and political support in the past year amid a significant spike in violent crime across major metropolitan areas, a Color of Change campaign director told a newspaper in June that they want no more police or prisons.
“We’re saying we need to invest in our communities and the things that keep our communities really safe,” Malachi Robinson, the campaign director, said in an interview with the Brooklyn Reader. “This movement is demanding a reimaging of public safety, we are saying no more police and no more mass incarceration.”
In 2019, Soros’s longtime fundraising arm, the Open Society Foundations, provided more than $1 million to Color of Change in several donations, according to the foundation’s website.
One of the donations, according to Open Society, was designed to “support advocacy on the courts and government accountability and the development of narratives relevant to racial justice advocacy.”
Since last summer, violent crime including homicides, rapes, and robberies have surged in a number of major cities, leading to some politicians who previously supported the movement to publicly try to distance themselves from it. Public opinion on the movement appears to have soured, with a poll conducted in May showing that only 18 percent of respondents support defunding police departments.
Officials at Color of Change and Open Society Foundations didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.