SACRAMENTO — Sacramento’s local chapter of Black Lives Matter was put on hiatus as questions arise about who’s in, who’s out and who’s really in charge.
“Unfortunately, there’s one person who has control over Black Lives Matter Sacramento platforms, web pages, finances and things of that nature. And we’ve been forced to create a separate group,” said Sonia Lewis, a former Black Lives Matter member.
Lewis said despite demands from the national Black Lives Matter organization for former leader Tanya Faison to step down, she hasn’t.
“With her refusing to do so, she has kind of commandeered and taken control of all of the platforms,” Lewis said.
A letter from the Black Lives Matter organization dated June 26 states Faison and the Sacramento chapter “do not represent Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc. or Black Lives Matter Network, Inc.”
The letter says Faison must “cease speaking on behalf of and/or representing Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc. and Black Lives Matter Network, Inc. through social media or any other means.”
However, the Sacramento Black Lives Matter Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages are all still run by Faison.
FOX40 caught up with her Monday afternoon.
“They’ve told us not to speak on behalf of the national organization, and so we’ve made it very well known that we’re not speaking on behalf of the national organization,” Faison said.
Faison’s referred to a post on the group’s Facebook page. Included in the message is a disclaimer:
Therefore Black Lives Matter Sacramento no longer will be a part of, or representative of the Black Lives Matter Foundation, Black Lives Matter Inc, or the greater Black Lives Matter Global Network.
The post doesn’t refer anywhere to Faison’s leadership and reasons why others have left.
Former members accuse her of spending Black Lives Matter donations on herself through a private PayPal account, which is something she denies.
“A lot of the information that’s coming out of that group is not accurate,” she said.
Lewis and other former members say it’s time for Faison to step down.
“We are trying to collectively restructure,” Lewis said.