Stacey Abrams group paid over $1.2 million to private security firm last year

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Stacey Abrams group paid over $1.2 million to private security firm last year

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A political action committee that is part of a network launched by Stacey Abrams to address voter suppression paid more than $1.2 million for private security last year despite its founder’s past support for the defund the police movement and opposition to the “privatization of justice.”

Abrams, who announced last month that she would take another shot at running for Georgia governor, founded Fair Fight Action in 2018 after she lost the gubernatorial race to Gov. Brian Kemp. Abrams refused to concede the election to Kemp, alleging that Kemp, who oversaw the election in his role as secretary of state, engaged in voter suppression, even though she has admitted she has “no empirical evidence” to prove it.

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Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, leaves after meeting President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris during a stop at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, March 19, 2021.

Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, leaves after meeting President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris during a stop at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, March 19, 2021.
(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

The Fair Fight PAC paid Executive Protection Agencies (EPA Security), an Atlanta-based private security firm, over $550,000 between July 2021 and November 2021 and over $1.2 million over the course of the year, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The price tag is noteworthy given Abrams’ past support for the defund the police movement, gun control and the ending of privatized prisons and privatized probation reporting in the state of Georgia.

During the George Floyd unrest of 2020, Abrams, the former Georgia House Democratic leader, repeatedly 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.

“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,” Abrams said in June 2020. “And that’s the conversation we’re having: We’ll use different language to describe it, but fundamentally we must have reformation and transformation.”

“We have to reallocate resources, so, yes,” she said in another interview that same month when asked if police budgets should be reduced. “If there is a moment where resources are so tight that we have to choose between whether we murder Black people or serve Black people, then absolutely: Our choice must be service.”

A few days later, she advocated for the “redistributive allocation of dollars” from police budgets, so that “we are not simply investing in public safety, but we’re building a safer public through education, through health care, through food security, through affordable housing, and that we not see these things as being in conflict, but they have to be part of a holistic vision of what America should look like, what law enforcement and what society should look like in the 21st century.”

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Political activist Stacey Abrams, left, waves to the crowd with Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, right, during a rally in Norfolk, Virginia.

Political activist Stacey Abrams, left, waves to the crowd with Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, right, during a rally in Norfolk, Virginia.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Around the same time, Cianti A. Stewart-Reid, who became the executive director of Fair Fight Action last month after serving as the managing director since last summer, posted an image on Facebook featuring the acronym M4BL, which stands for the Movement for Black Lives, a group that supports defunding the police and honoring convicted cop killers.

“In Defense of Black Life #DefundPolice #DefendBlackLife,” her Facebook profile picture reads.

The Fair Fight PAC’s payments toward privatized security also raises eyebrows due to Abrams’ past support for ending the privatization of prisons and probation reporting in Georgia’s criminal justice system.

“I do not believe in the privatization of justice,” Abrams said in April 2018. “There is a profit motive behind private prisons that is anathema to the core of who we are as Americans.”

Abrams has also pushed for so-called “common sense” gun control measures, including “universal” background checks and a ban on semiautomatic rifles, like the AR-15. Earlier this month, she blasted plans pushed by Kemp to do away with licensing requirements for carrying a handgun in public.

“Because when you say that you want people to be safe, how can you say that you are willing to take away background checks and mental health checks before someone can have a weapon in this state?” Abrams said during a campaign stop in Atlanta.

Another avid gun control supporter, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, paid over $494,000 to the same EPA Security last year.

Abrams’ campaign and Fair Fight Action did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment. 

Former state representative and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams speaks during a Souls to the Polls rally supporting Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Oct. 17, 2021, in Norfolk, Virginia. 

Former state representative and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams speaks during a Souls to the Polls rally supporting Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Oct. 17, 2021, in Norfolk, Virginia. 
(Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

A poll released Thursday of hypothetical 2022 races conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed Abrams trailing behind two of Georgia’s top Republicans. 

If the election were held today, incumbent Kemp and former Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., who is challenging Kemp in the GOP primary, would receive more support than Abrams, the poll said.

According to respondents who took part in the survey, 48% said they would vote for Kemp, while 41% said they would vote for Abrams. Eight percent stated they were unsure who to support.

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Against Perdue, who has received an endorsement from former President Trump, Abrams’ odds are not much better. Survey participants chose Perdue over Abrams 47% to 43%.

Since 2018, Abrams’ popularity within her own party and nationally has reached new heights. Abrams, who has authored several books and appeared on numerous publication covers, gave the Democratic response to Trump’s State of the Union address in 2019 and was once considered to be Joe Biden’s running mate.

Fox News’ Kyle Morris, Paul Steinhauser and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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