Does George Soros back defunding police? $1M donation reveals surprising truth
Billionaire George Soros has donated $1 million to the racial justice organization Color Of Change PAC, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show. Soros made the donation on May 14 but has only recently come to light. The massive donation also throws up questions about Soros' political beliefs, given Color of Change's goals, which amongst other things include defunding the police.
Following the brutal murders of George Floyd and other Black Americans in 2020, many activists, groups, and even politicians have been calling for police services to be defunded. However, those calls have often been met with immense backlash. Former President Obama slammed the idea as a "snappy" slogan in December 2020. In August 2020, a former Dallas cop exclusively told MEAWW that such calls would stop only if cops stop "constantly seeing the worst" in people.
Defund the Police: As calls grow for radical move, what will replace PDs and can it work?
Alyssa Milano slammed for hypocrisy as cops protect actor's house despite her call to 'defund the police'
Nonetheless, calls to defund the police have only grown over the years. One of the many organizations leading the charge is Color of Change, which has previously received a donation from two-time Olympian Gwen Berry earlier in July. Now, we can confirm Soros too has donated to the PAC. Does that mean Soros supports defund the police?
Soros' stance on defunding police
Like many of his fellow billionaires, Soros has never publicly revealed his stance on political matters. It's unclear if he actually supports defunding the police or not. The only indication we have of Soros' intentions comes from his donations. If we are to judge Soros based entirely on that, it appears he is indeed for the defunding of the police movement. The donation to Color of Change is not his only donation in that regard.
In February 2021, the Minnesota Reformer noted that Soros' Open Society Policy Center donated $500,000 to the Vote Yes 4 Minneapolis group. The group infamously made headlines for a charter amendment that would dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department, and replace it with another civil organization under the control of the City Council. He has also been known to fund candidates at both the national, and local levels who have advocated for defunding the police.
In the past, Soros has been linked to everything from Antifa to the Black Lives Matter protests, but never to defunding the police. Yet, it seems like a natural thing for him to do. Over the past few decades, Soros has made a name funding liberal causes, especially around criminal justice reforms and racial equality. In 2016, it was reported he channeled more than $3 million into seven local district-attorney campaigns in six states. All those donations were for African-American and Hispanic candidates, all of whom ran on criminal justice reform platforms.
To be clear, Color of Change doesn't only advocate for defunding the police. The group runs numerous campaigns around racial justice, including reducing online hate crime, corporate repatriations, and supporting Sha'Carri Richardson. However, they are most well known for their defund the police campaign, currently running in New York City. The group has currently hit 161% of its 20,000 signatures on the petition to defund the NYPD, and invest in "social services, public health infrastructure, quality mental health programs, and community-based alternatives to policing."
The news is not likely to help Soros in any way. Throughout 2020, he was targeted by right-wing media and blamed for the violence as a result of the killing of Floyd. He's also currently facing massive backlash after it emerged he paid zero federal income tax for three straight years between 2016 and 2018. On top of that, donating to groups that are calling for police to be defunded is only likely to make him more of a target, as the idea of defunding police departments is not very popular.