Crowdfunding Site Removes Page Set Up For S.C. Officer Charged With Murder

The crowdfunding website GoFundMe confirmed Wednesday that it had removed a fundraising page in support of a white South Carolina ex-police officer charged with murder following allegations that he fatally shot an unarmed black man.

North Charleston Patrolman Michael Slager was charged with murder Tuesday after disturbing video surfaced appearing to show the fatal shooting, which occurred after a traffic stop on Saturday. The video appeared to show Slager firing eight shots at 50-year-old Walter Scott’s back as Scott fled.

Authorities said Wednesday in a press conference that Slager had been fired from his job.

A Twitter user going by the handle @DefendMichaelS tweeted early Wednesday that GoFundMe had rejected a campaign to support the officer. The tweet linked to a fundraiser for Slager on Indiegogo, another crowdfunding platform, that was still live:

GoFundMe’s public relations manager, Kelsea Little, confirmed to TPM in an email that the fundraiser was removed because it violated the crowdfunding platform’s terms and conditions. Little did not comment on how the campaign violated those terms.

However, GoFundMe’s terms and conditions page states that “campaigns in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts” are prohibited.

Little also did not disclose how long the campaign was live on GoFundMe’s website in her email to TPM, citing privacy concerns.

Last fall, two separate fundraising campaigns on GoFundMe raised more than $400,000 combined for Darren Wilson, the white ex-police officer who ultimately was not indicted in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Both fundraisers were abruptly shut down by their organizers.

Asked why the fundraiser in support of Slager was removed while the campaigns in support of Wilson were not, Little told TPM: “The campaigns set up for Officer Darren Wilson were not in violation of our Terms & Conditions, and so they were not removed.”

The “Michael T. Slager Support Fund” page on Indiegogo was still live as of Wednesday afternoon and had raised just $60 of its $5,000 goal.

h/t Think Progress

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: