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FIRST ON FOX: Carmen Rojas, the president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, of which Stacey Abrams serves as a board member, is also a donor to Abrams’ Democratic gubernatorial campaign and has repeatedly voiced support for abolishing the police and prison systems.
Abrams, who has tried to distance herself from the hardline rhetoric of the “defund the police” movement in the past, has received at least $52,500 in income from the Marguerite Casey Foundation, a left-wing grant-making organization named after Marguerite Casey, the sister of UPS founder Jim Casey, according to her financial disclosures.
Abrams’ campaign has said she disagrees with the foundation’s position on defunding the police, though Fox News Digital recently revealed that she supported the group’s expanded anti-police efforts through its “Answer the Uprising” initiative in late May 2021.
The foundation also tweeted #DefundThePolice as recently as March of this year and #AbolishThePolice as recently as February.
In February, the foundation’s president, Rojas, moderated a discussion titled, “Becoming Abolitionists—A History of Failed Police Reforms & Vision for True Public Safety,” in which she accused Republicans of “fully funding ethno-nationalism” and “White supremacy” through its support for law enforcement.
“[What] ideological foundations like ours can do is create a more even terrain for that fight – that the opposition is fully funding ethno-nationalism, fully funding patriarchy and White supremacy, like, whole hog, every day funding it,” Rojas said during the Feb. 3 event. “And what we can do at our best, those of us who believe in dreaming, those of us who believe in justice, those of us who are committed to Black liberation – not as an endeavor to keep in our brain, but something that we want to realize in our lifetime – can use resources to do that.”
In May 2021, Rojas tweeted that “prison abolition is the necessary precondition for any just society.”
“Defund the police,” Rojas declared on April 2021.
“So many people are twisting themselves into word pretzels,” she wrote. “They say we need justice in one breathe & not all police are bad in the next. We must be unwavering in our commitment to freedom. The best way to realize it is to defund the police and support abolition. Period.”
“There is no reforming this,” Rojas tweeted on Aug. 4, 2020. “ABOLISH THE POLICE.”
“Can we finally stop with the bull—- of ‘liberal coastal elites’ and agree that white supremacy is everywhere and it’s death starts with abolishing the police & prisons?” Rojas tweeted on June 5, 2020.
Rojas also shared what it means to be a police “abolitionist” compared to a “reformist,” which she argues expands harmful policing.
According to her campaign contribution disclosure report, Abrams’ campaign received $7,600, the contribution limit for primaries and general elections in Georgia, from Rojas on Dec. 1, 2021.
While Abrams, the Georgia gubernatorial Democratic nominee, has been pushing back recently against her ties to the anti-police foundation she is on the board of, she previously was tight-lipped about her views on the defund the police issue.
During the George Floyd unrest of 2020, Abrams tried to rebrand the “defund” aspect of the defund the police movement as being one in favor of the “reformation and transformation” of law enforcement, instead of the outright abolishment of policing.
“I think we’re being drawn into this false choice idea,” Abrams said in June 2020. “We have to have a transformation of how we view the role of law enforcement, how we view the construct of public safety, and how we invest, not only in the work that we need them to do to protect us, but the work that we need to do to protect and build our communities. And that’s the conversation we’re having: We’ll use different language to describe it, but fundamentally we must have reformation and transformation.”
More than 100 Georgia sheriffs joined Republican Governor Brian Kemp in a press release this week blasting Abrams over her ties to the Marguerite Casey Foundation and her “role in advancing the Defund the Police movement.”
The sheriffs wrote that Kemp and his family have stood in solidarity with them over the course of his first gubernatorial term, writing the governor “championed legislation to recruit and retain more officers into the profession, strengthen penalties for criminals and help keep Georgia’s streets safe, and prevent rogue local governments from stripping critical funding and resources from police.”
“In stark contrast, Stacey Abrams has repeatedly shown complete disdain for law enforcement and the risk we take every day putting our lives on the line to serve our communities,” they continued.
Abrams’ campaign spokesperson Alex Floyd told Fox News Digital on Monday that Abrams “does not support defunding the police, and is a longtime supporter of investing in law enforcement alongside building community trust and fostering law enforcement accountability.”
“Foundation bylaws prohibit board members from approving, supporting or opposing any potential grants – all of which are determined by staff,” Floyd said. “No grant reflects or changes Stacey’s views.”
When asked about the donation from Rojas and her anti-police tweets, the Abrams campaign referred Fox News Digital to Abrams’ comments on “Fox News Sunday” regarding law enforcement pay raises and criminal justice reform. The campaign also pointed to previous statements on Abrams not supporting defunding the police.
Rojas did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.
Fox News’ Houston Keene and Joe Schoffstall contributed to this report.