A nonprofit that pays bail for arrested individuals has shut down its Las Vegas chapter after freeing a man who went on to nearly kill a waiter
The Bail Project paid a $3,000 bail for Rawshawn Gaston-Anderson, 24 in December 2021 after he was arrested for burglary and theft
Six days later, the man opened fire on an Asian waiter, shooting him seven times
Gaston-Anderson pleaded guilty and will serve seven to 18 years in prison
The Bail Project is backed by Richard Branson, Danny Glover, and John Legend
A celebrity-backed woke bail fund has shuttered after being sued for freeing a serial criminal who tried to murder an Asian waiter just six days later. The Bail Project – whose backers include Richard Branson, Danny Glover and John Legend – announced it was disbanding its Las Vegas chapter earlier this month over the case of Rashawn Gaston-Anderson, 24. He was arrested in November 2021 for burglary and theft but was released by The Bail Project after they paid his $3,000 bail. Less than one week after he was released, Gaston-Anderson went into a restaurant and opened fire on an Asian waiter named Chengyan Wang, shooting him 11 times and almost killing him. Wang survived, and is now suing The Bail Project over the incident.
Wang’s lawsuit has targeted The Bail Project for paying to free Gaston Anderson in spite of his criminal past. It and similar nonprofits have sprung up since the Black Lives Matter protests and riots of summer 2020 to help free suspected criminals unable to afford bail. Supporters say the bail system reinforces a two-tier justice system, that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and that it’s unfair for a poor person to languish behind bars while richer defendants can walk free. But critics say the idea springs dangerous criminals back onto the street – and can even embolden them to reoffend. Cities and states which have sought to limit the use of bail have all recorded spikes in crime. Katie Poor, deputy general counsel for The Bail Project, doubled down on the organization’s mission to free those who are innocent until proven guilty, even as the organization shuddered its Nevada chapter.