On Friday, popular crowdfunding website Indiegogo took down a page created to raise funds for legal fees and other costs for a South Carolina police officer accused of murdering an unarmed individual.
Michael Slager had pulled over Walter L. Scott at a traffic stop. Scott was driving a Mercedes-Benz with a broken light.
According to The New York Times, Slager said he feared for his life because Scott had taken his Taser.
After Slager was accused of murder, an unknown entity or individual claiming to be his defense team attempted to raise funds via GoFundMe but were denied. They then reached Indiegogo; although the website hosted the fundraiser for a while, they started receiving requests to shut the operation down.
A statement released by Indiegogo revealed that the website removed the page because “our Trust & Safety team regularly conducts verifications and checks and this campaign did not meet their standards.”
The campaign had collected a little more than $1,300 of its projected goal of $5,000.
It hasn’t been clarified whether the fundraiser was instigated by Slager’s defense team, fellow officers or friends, but the page was soon taken down. On Friday, the page returned an invalid webpage.
The organization or individual defending Slager also took to social media, creating a page on Facebook by the name of Michael T. Support Fund, and called GoFundMe’s decision to not support the crowdfunding campaign “cowardice.”
It isn’t the first time a fundraiser has been set up in light of a controversial incident. Memories Pizza raised more than $840,000 on GoFundMe in the midst of a recent religious rights debate; the page in support of the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, who refused to cater to gay customers, made more than $150,000; and a fundraiser set up after Michael Brown was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson – the campaign for Wilson generating $250,000 – received substantial contribution from people, as reported by the Washington Post.
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