AG lawsuit: Charity for police families gave less than 9 percent of its funds to police families

The Minnesota Attorney General is suing a Florida-based charity that raises money in Minnesota for the families of fallen police officers.

Attorney General Lori Swanson says very little of the money goes to those families as does the Minnesota Peace Officer’s Association.

The charity is called the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens. It’s based out of Florida and the Attorney General’s office says they’re good at sending out mailers promising to help the families of fallen officers.

In her civil lawsuit filed today in Ramsey County Court, Swanson says the organization raised $426,000 from 10,000 Minnesota donors between the years 2011 and 2017.

But the lawsuit says less than 9 percent of that went to the families of fallen officers. The rest went to public education activities.

“What people told us is that when they gave generously to the families of fallen officers they felt it was going to help the families of fallen officers and not just be running and funding a fund raising campaign,” Swanson said.

“I believed it was going to the families of fallen officers,” added Dorothy Holden, who donated to the AFPCC. “I did not think it was a local cause, but that’s a good cause in any location as far as I’m concerned.”

The state of Minnesota sued the same charity back in 1995 for similar deceptive marketing practices.

Swanson now believes they are up to their old tricks.

The Attorney General is asking a judge to order the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens to stop its solicitation in Minnesota in addition to reimbursing donors for their contributions.