A Minneapolis man whose criminal behavior “raises significant concerns for public safety” was twice bailed out of jail by the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced three new charges Thursday against 29-year-old Thomas Moseley.
According to the charges:
Moseley was previously arrested on property damage and gun possession charges, but was released after the Minnesota Freedom Fund posted $5,000 for his bail. The gun possession charge was connected to an Oct. 15 protest inside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the officers involved in George Floyd’s death were making a court appearance.
Officers arrested Moseley (on property damage charges stemming from an August protest) and found him in possession of a Glock semi-automatic handgun. They then obtained a warrant to search Moseley’s vehicle and discovered a massive cache of firearms and tactical gear, including three handguns, a shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle, a gas mask and about 50 rounds of ammunition — plus a stash of cocaine, mushrooms, and marijuana.
After his release, Moseley was charged with second-degree rioting for his involvement in a “New Year’s Eve melee” in downtown Minneapolis, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Unconditional release was set at $60,000 and the Minnesota Freedom Fund again covered the cost.
Rioters involved in the New Year’s Eve incident allegedly vandalized buildings in the downtown area with messages such as “down with America,” “kill all cops,” “crimewave 2021,” “America’s last year,” and “death to America.” Moseley and four others were detained.
“During the course of these detentions and investigation, officers recovered a handgun, knives, three cans containing a suspected wax and fuel substance, a green laser, mace, improvised spike balls, a taser, fireworks, gas masks, body armor, helmets, and 2-way radios. Additionally, it was learned that the group had a designated ‘emergency medical technician,’” the charges state.
Another criminal complaint filed against Moseley says that his “persistent efforts to acquire firearms and continued engagement in criminal conduct especially dangerous to others raises significant concerns for public safety.”
In an unusual move, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office explicitly named the Minnesota Freedom Fund in its press release.
History of bailing out violent criminals
The Minnesota Freedom Fund raked in more than $35 million in the weeks following George Floyd’s death and received several high-profile endorsements, apparently to help raise funds for detained protesters. At least 13 staffers for President Joe Biden’s campaign donated to the group while Vice President Kamala Harris expressed her support for the organization on Twitter.
The nonprofit’s mission is to pay “criminal bail and immigration bonds for those who cannot otherwise afford to” and abolish cash bail in Minnesota.
A Fox 9 investigation found that the Minnesota Freedom Fund used its influx of donations to bail out a woman accused of murder, a twice-convicted sex offender, and a suspect who shot at police during May’s riots. Only about a dozen protesters actually needed help with bail.
Alpha News discovered that Lionel Timms, who was in jail on charges of assault, was provided bail by the Minnesota Freedom Fund just days before violently assaulting a bar manager in Minneapolis last August.
The Freedom Fund said it does not “make determinations of bail support based on the crimes that individuals are alleged to have committed.”
“Freedom Fund believes that every individual who has been arrested by the police is innocent until proven guilty, and should not have to wait in jail simply because they do not have the same income or resources as others with more financial privilege,” the group said in a statement released Thursday. “Additionally, we do not subscribe to the county attorney’s agenda to keep in place a racist and classist system that uses bail as a means to hold individuals before their trial, regardless of community support and ability to make their court dates.”
The group quoted Moseley’s attorney, who reportedly called the charges against his client “persecution of a political activist” and accused prosecutors of using the Freedom Fund’s involvement as “an excuse” to raise Moseley’s bail.
“Rather than moving toward the progressive pre-trial detention reform that is truly needed and seen in Cook County/Illinois this month, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is moving in the complete opposite direction,” the statement continued.