- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A community organizer who heads a group that pushes for police accountability in the Pittsburgh area has been charged with overdrawing the group’s account.

Brandi Fisher, 38, of Penn Hills, was charged by summons Thursday with overdrawing the Alliance for Police Accountability’s account by more than $860. The group seeks to call attention to racial profiling and police brutality.

Fisher said she’s funded the group herself for about five years and the bad check charge isn’t an ethical lapse. Rather, she said, someone gave the group a $1,000 donation, but by the time she deposited the check, the account was closed.

According to police, Fisher deposited the check in July 2013 that was written to the group four months earlier, then withdrew $800 over two days. On the day of the second withdrawal, the group’s bank learned the $1,000 check had been drawn on a closed account, police said.

“Someone gave us a donation, and I guess I took too long to deposit it and the money wasn’t there,” she said Thursday. Fisher explained that she waited to deposit the check until she needed to withdraw money for a couple of events the group was organizing.

Fisher said she didn’t know the account had been closed until Allegheny County police told her that last month. But Dollar Bank officials told police that Fisher didn’t respond to calls and letters about the overdraft.

According to the criminal complaint, Fisher agreed to repay the money by Dec. 22 but missed that deadline. Fisher said she believed the deadline was Jan. 22 and was surprised the charges were filed.

“Organizations like ours don’t get much support,” Fisher said. “I’ve been funding the organization out of my pocket for five years. If anything, I would be stealing from myself.”

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