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 rejected our campaign to support Offc Mike Slager https://t.co/HXR785D6Tl is the new site.
— MichaelSlagerDefense (@DefendMichaelS) April 8, 2015
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.