Mothers Say Black Lives Matter Profiting Off Their Dead Sons

an american flag waves in front of a raging inferno started in an american city in the name of black lives matter

The mothers of young Black men and women killed in police incidents have remained critical of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors after she announced last week she was stepping down.

“I don’t believe she is going anywhere,” Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, told the New York Post. “It’s all a facade. She’s only saying that to get the heat off her right now.”

Tamir, 12, was shot by Cleveland police in 2014 while playing with a toy gun.

Lisa Simpson, whose son Richard Risher, 18, was shot by police in 2016, was critical of Cullors as well.

“Now she doesn’t have to show her accountability,” Simpson said. “She can just take the money and run.”

Cullors, who is the executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, said Thursday she is leaving BLM following a report by the Post she had bought $3.2 million worth of real estate in various locations throughout the United States.

Hawk Newsome who heads Black Lives Matter Greater New York City, a group unaffiliated with Cullor’s Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, called for “an independent investigation” into how the group spends its money, especially considering Cullors identifies as a Marxist.

“They are benefiting off the blood of our loved ones, and they won’t even talk to us,” Rice told the Post. She also has had harsh words for activists Shaun King and Tamika Mallory.

Ten local BLM groups called for accountability and transparency in the national organization last year.

Though BLM has claimed to raise money for Rice and Simpson’s sons, the women say they have seen none of it, and they say Cullors does not talk to them.

BLM’s Los Angeles chapter raised $5,000 for her son’s funeral, but Simpson claimed she never received any of it.

“We never hired them to be the representatives in the fight for justice for our dead loved ones murdered by the police,” Rice and Simpson said in a statement posted March 16 by activist @Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. “The ‘activists’ have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones’ images and names on their flyers. We don’t want or need y’all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken.”

Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, called BLM a “fraud” in a Facebook post she later removed. Taylor was shot dead by police in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment during a no-knock raid in 2020.

“I have never personally dealt with BLM Louisville and personally have found them to be fraud [sic],” Palmer wrote.

Simpson told the Post, anything toward justice for her son that has been done, she has had to do herself.

“I’m just a mother who lost my kid,” she said. “I haven’t gotten any justice, and I don’t even know what that looks like.”

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.