Days after GoFundMe tried to justify its Rittenhouse ban, the platform is under fire for allowing–and then deleting–a fundraiser for the suspect in the parade massacre.
GoFundMe tried to justify its Rittenhouse ban after his acquittal, claiming it did not allow fundraisers for defendants accused of “violent” crimes.
“GoFundMe’s Terms of Service prohibit raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime,” the platform tweeted. “In light of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, we want to clarify when and why we have removed certain fundraisers in the past.”
A link to the company’s website explained the policy:
“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.”
Days later, however, a fundraiser for Darrell Brooks, the man who allegedly drove a vehicle into a parade, was allowed on the platform until it was deleted after backlash.
The bail defense fund asked for $5 million and included a picture of Brooks’ mugshot. A statement on the fundraiser’s page said Brooks was a victim of unfair treatment and racism:
“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.”