In Shocking Essay, 'Black Lives Matter' Activist Deray Mckesson Accuses Shaun King of Fraud, Deception

In this undated photo, Shaun King poses where he was the lead pastor of Courageous Church in Midtown Atlanta. King, a blogger who rose to prominence in the aftermath of a police shooting last summer in Ferguson, Mo., pushed back against claims by conservative bloggers that his parents were both white and that he exaggerated an assault he endured two decades ago while attending high school in Versailles, Ky. (Vino Wong/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

A shocking fracture in the Black Lives Matter movement came Thursday when popular activist DeRay Mckesson penned an article in Medium accusing fellow movement figurehead Shaun King of fraud and deception.

Mckesson, better known by just his first name and his signature puffy blue vest, said King had developed a disturbing pattern that was becoming more and more noticeable.

Mckesson claimed he had tried to take the high road and work through back channels but King’s continued misbehavior warranted public exposure.

The New York Daily News columnist didn’t do much to engender trust after his meteoric rise to fame within the activist culture, with rumors beginning to fly of his mistreatment of women – Black women in particular – and his mismanagement of funds. Not only that, King more recently made several grave errors in judgment, outing two men he believed to be involved in two separate hate crimes, only to discover he had exposed the wrong people.

Mckesson laid out a thorough and tight timeline of King’s disturbing behavior, beginning with the founding of King’s organization “Justice Together” and detailing the problems in the operation. Some of his points included:

1. When people disagreed, they were removed from the group or it was stated that they were white supremacists or trolls.

Mckesson expounded on each point with impressive detail. The entire essay is lengthy, but includes a strong and thorough thread all the way through King’s most recent transgressions. He also questioned King’s claims of raising over $35 million in funds for various charities. Apparently King was simply claiming the fundraising efforts of organizations he had shared information about on social media.

Then there is Clarissa Brooks.

Mckesson goes to painstaking lengths to expose the depth of King’s financial scams and mistreatment of employees. It is an impressive collection of information, witness reports and records.

What is even more impressive is his willingness to call out the bad eggs at the risk of humiliating a movement he believes in.