"It's time to draw a CLEAR line in the sand," New York State assemblywoman Aravella Simotas tweeted Saturday, announcing she would redirect $5,350 in campaign contributions from police-affiliated groups to a New York City bail fund, as well as to groups working to "help New Yorkers in communities of color survive police encounters." It started a movement, with at least six New York Democrats following suit, reports NBC News. "I'm tired of hearing that issues of police abuse are the result of a few bad apples when we see more and more apples rotting every single day," state Sen. Michael Gianaris told NBC on Sunday. He said he would donate some $10,000 he'd received from police groups following aggressive police actions at New York City protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Similar pledges came from assemblywomen Catalina Cruz, Carmen De La Rosa, Nathalia Fernandez, and NYC Council members Francisco Moya and Mark Levine. "We need to show solidarity to the movement," said Fernandez. "If we don't do something here, I don't know how we can continue to move on as a society," said Moya. A spreadsheet had spread online showing contributions to NY Democratic leaders from law enforcement PACs. "Taking police money implies that you're actively OK with cops murdering black men," the creator, 19-year-old Aaron Fernando, tells NBC. Protests across the country have sparked a flood of donations to bail funds, with the Minnesota Freedom Fund receiving $20 million in four days, reports the New York Times. Donations to Democratic candidates also hit record numbers for 2020 on Sunday and Monday. (Read more New York stories.)