GoFundMe, a crowdsourcing service that has not been shy about curating those fundraisers they allow on their platform, has reportedly pulled the page to raise money for Waukesha massacre suspect Darrell Brooks' bail fund.
GoFundMe confirmed to FOX Business via a spokesperson that they removed the fundraiser for violating the crowdsourcing platform's Terms of Service. Additionally, the person who launched the fundraiser, reportedly a man named James Norton, will no longer be permitted to use the platform for any future fundraisers.
While many were horrified that he was offered bail at all, given the charges and his criminal past, those who launched the fundraiser claimed that bail sum indicated that Brooks himself was a victim of a "racist" justice system, according to the Law Enforcement Today, with the advocate of the fundraiser using hashtags #RacismIsReal and #BLM.
Brooks, who is charged with six counts of intentional homicide for driving his car into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisc. on Sunday, had his bail set at a hearing on Tuesday in the amount of $5 million. This high sum was a result of his massive list of prior convictions, including bail jumping. He was out on bail of $1,000 when he drove his car into the crowd.
That bail amount was called "inappropriately low" by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office.
The $5 million cash ask read:
"On November 21st, 2021 our dear friend Darrell Brooks was arrested for allegedly driving his car into a parade, as someone who knows Darrell personally I can tell you that he would NEVER do such a thing and I know he is innocent of what he was charged with. Clearly, there is more to the story the media is not telling us and I am seeking to raise the bail so Darrell can be released and speak his truth to his side of the story in this tragic situation that sees another black man behind bars in a purely political and racist trial.
"There is no excuse for this continued treatment of black Americans by prosecutors around the country, everyone must be presumed innocent until proven guilty and we ask that he be treated equally as anyone else in this country would be treated and he should be released until found guilty.
"#BLM #IStandWithDarrell #NoJusticeNoPeace #RacismIsReal"
Victims include an 8-year-old boy, along with members of the Dancing Grannies troupe, that was performing in the parade. A fundraiser on the same platform for a young girl who was severely injured on Sunday has raised over $100,000. NFL player JJ Watt has said that he would pay for the funerals of those killed.
GoFundMe had also taken down the fundraiser for Kyle Rittenhouse's legal defense fund after he was charged with shooting three men, killing two, during a riot in Kenosha, Wisc. in August 2020.
After he was acquitted on those charges due to self-defense, GoFundMe issued a clarification on their prohibition of allowing people to use the platform to raise money for "the legal defense of an alleged violent crime."
On the day of Rittenhouse's acquittal, they wrote that:
"Once charges for a violent crime were brought against Kyle Rittenhouse in 2020, GoFundMe removed fundraisers that were started for the defendant’s legal defense. We did this as part of our regular monitoring efforts; in addition to those fundraisers, our Trust & Safety team removed hundreds of other fundraisers between August and December 2020 — unrelated to Rittenhouse — that we determined were in violation of this long-standing policy.
"If someone is acquitted of those charges, as Rittenhouse was today, a fundraiser started subsequently for their legal defense and other expenses would not violate this policy. A fundraiser to pay lawyers, cover legal expenses or to help with ongoing living expenses for a person acquitted of those charges could remain active as long as we determine it is not in violation of any of our other terms and, for example, the purpose is clearly stated and the correct beneficiary is added to the fundraiser."
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