A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the six Baltimore police officers facing various charges in the death of Freddie Gray was taken down after just 41 minutes, Breitbart News is reporting.
The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) – the city’s police officers’ union – set up a campaign on the popular online fundraising website in order to raise $600,000 for “living expenses” for the six cops who are now on unpaid suspension after being charged in Freddie Gray’s death.
“The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #3 has been overwhelmed with the enormous generosity of people from around the world. We have received many requests to open an online account that will accept monetary donations for the 6 officers who have been wrongly charged in the death of Freddie Gray. All monies collected will be used to assist our officers with their living expenses during their unpaid suspension. as well as to help defray their legal expenses. We thank you, in advance, for your continued support.”
However, after 41 minutes – and after raising $1,135 – GoFundMe administrators shut down the campaign.
In a tweet that has since been deleted, the Baltimore FOP announced without comment that their campaign had been shut down. Counter Current News provided a screen shot of the now-deleted tweet.
Although GoFundMe offered the Baltimore FOP no explanation as to why their page was taken down, their Terms of Service make it clear that the online fundraising site will not be a platform to raise money for criminal defendants charged with violent crimes.
“Campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts [are not allowed].”
In fact, GoFundMe spokesperson Kelsea Little confirmed to CBS News that the Baltimore FOP page was taken down for that very reason.
“The campaign clearly stated that the money raised would be used to assist the officers with their legal fees, which is a direct violation of GoFundMe’s terms.”
Before it was taken down, the GoFundMe page managed to garner several comments. Some were positive and supportive.
Other comments were negative.
“They haven’t been fired. Their union will provide them with any legal representation. They make $60-70k a year, they don’t need my $.”
As of this post, it is not clear if the Baltimore FOP has set up a fundraising campaign for the six officers on a different online fundraising site.
[Images courtesy of: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla, Counter Current News]