This is Anthony Federico from Abington, better known as Tony Fed.
I’ve met him a few times protesting against Monica Cannon-Grant’s racism, and actually had to tell him to calm down because he was responding to violent threats with violent threats.
I do stuff like this to peacefully protest against institutional racism for the purpose of contrasting their violence with our principled non-violence. After that I distanced myself from him as this is not what I want to be associated with.
Tony runs a non-profit and a Facebook group called America Backs the Blue, which has almost 75,000 members. According to their articles of incorporation the purpose of ABTB is “support for police officers and their families.”
But some have become concerned that Tony is using the group and the thin blue line to benefit himself personally. Certainly there is money to be made on both sides of black lives matter. People like Monica Cannon-Grant make millions of dollars off of racism by blaming the police for killing unarmed black men, but it only galvanizes people who support the police and they are willing to spend money too.
This is where ABTB comes in, and many have taken notice. I’ve received messages from Weymouth Police Officers who are upset that Tony used Michael Chesna’s name without contacting his family first, to put together a back the blue bike ride, which was not reportedly was not supported by the family.
“Mike’s family told the organizer not to use his name or image, but they did anyways. The charity this ride was supposed to support has been changed multiple times. All charities that were previously named were contacted and said they had no idea about this ride and were not affiliated. I have a strong suspicion the organizer is trying to make money off of Mike’s name. This suspicion has been corroborated by speaking to multiple people in the motorcycle field. I personally know that Mike’s family is not OK with this. I worked with Mike and want to ensure that his name is not used to benefit someone else’s financial gains.”
Tony Fed took notice and changed the name of the event, but he blamed it on COVID.
The event had been selling tickets to it for $20, but Tony Fed denied creating the Facebook group associated with the event that was selling tickets, and claims he doesn’t know who created it.
Even though he commented on the page and said, “This is now the ABTB rolling rally, I can’t do the Mike Chesna run.”
Which would seem to suggest that it was his page and that he was announcing that it was repurposed as a result of the blowback. The ride did end up happening as a free event, but only after many took notice and expressed their outrage.
Tony also insisted that Chesna’s parents supported his efforts, and they were indeed at the rally. However, Chesna’s wife was not and Tony himself has admitted that she opposed usage of her husband’s name for Tony’s event.
In fairness to Tony Fed, he seems to be a boomer who can’t figure out the Internet. He began messaging me over the summer, looking for me to support his group, but couldn’t understand the concept that he could simply follow my personal account (Clarence Woods Emerson), and that this did not require a friend request. Then he would send me random videos he wanted me to use for promotion of his cause.
I’m naturally suspicious of anyone who isn’t a police officer and dedicates their life to “backing the blue,” during a time when it would be profitable to do so.
There doesn’t seem to be an accounting of how much is being made off of this, and they sell lots of merchandise at the bike rides.
According to their own website there is a 20% “donation” added at checkout to “go directly to our cause.”
So by their own admission, it goes to ABTB.
The Chesna stunt in September rubbed many people the wrong way, but people became more suspicious after Tony began using the page for his benefit. He urges people to share the page so that membership increases.
But he then used this large following and mobilized them to vote for him on a daily basis to win a free motorcycle.
He complained that not enough people in the group were voting for him to win the free bike though.
At which point he began to urge people to buy votes for him, because the money spent on votes to let this grown man win a free motorcycle allegedly went to charity, therefore it was charitable.
But there’s nothing charitable about a man getting a free motorcycle for his personal use. He justified this by pointing out that he would be using it to drive to do ABTB rolling rallies across the country.
He ended up not winning and bemoaned on the ABTB Facebook group that only 3 or 4 people bought votes for him.
He orchestrated buying votes while in Florida under the guise of seeing if there was interest there in franchising ABTB.
However, the contest website says right on it that purchasing votes does not qualify as a donation to a charity. It does say that the sponsor would be donating 25% of all proceeds to an animal rescue, which has nothing to do with ABTB’s mission statement of supporting police officer’s families.
It also says in the rules that contestants like Tony cannot pay for votes themselves.
Which is why Tony has his members pay for votes, and he reimburses them.
I reached out to Tony Fed to see if he could answer some of my questions to clear this up. First I wanted to know if there was an accounting of money raised from events and sales, since the non-profit was formed in June and didn’t have to file their annual reports yet. He claimed he had a bank account but hadn’t had time to “figure it out” because he hadn’t spoken to an accountant.
Tony was able to provide screenshots of what appears to be a $650 donation to Cops for Kids With Cancer.
However, one of his former board members alleges that he only made this donation after being questioned about where all the money was going.
He claims that he put $5,000 into this venture, but hasn’t said what it went towards.
He insisted that he deserved the motorcycle, and complained that members of the group weren’t doing enough to make sure he got it.
He then changed the subject and accused me of bashing Trump supporters, despite being one myself.
I asked him about buying votes so he could win a motorcycle and he said it was OK because the money went to a charity.
He then used a picture of himself with Mike Chesna’s parents as some sort of evidence that they sign off on all of his activities and lack of financial accounting.
I’ve since been removed from the ABTB Facebook group after making a post asking a question about where the money all went, as have others.
After I began asking what I believe are relevant questions Tony began telling group members to block me because I’m “no good.”
Tony also shared a message he received from a retired cop, informing Tony that many police officers believed his charity was not what it appeared to be.
As a result of these unanswered questions one of the members of the Board of Directors publicly announced that he was resigning.
Another board member described this former board member to me as a “hater,” who was “not a good fit,” while insisting that the Chesna’s supported this run. But thus far the only evidence I’ve seen of any sort of charitable donations have been the screenshots showing a $650 donation to Cops For Kids With Cancer.
I’m not saying that Tony Fed is a con-artist using murdered police officers to benefit himself. I know that he vocally supports law enforcement, which should be commended during a time like this. However, you can do that without incorporating, selling tickets to a Mike Chesna rally without consulting with his widow, and mobilizing his group to pay for votes so he can win a free motorcycle for his personal use. At the very least ABTB should not be led by a man who knows nothing about non-profits and hasn’t even spoken with an accountant.
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