A crude attempt at online fundraising for a North Charleston, South Carolina police officer was suspended on the afternoon of April 10. After hosting the “Michael T. Slager Support Fund” for two days, Indiegogo shut it down for violations of the crowd-funding site’s “trust and safety standards.”
The support fund was created by one identified as “R. Owens,” who stated goals of raising money for legal defense of Slager, the policeman charged with murder for shooting the unarmed Walter Scott in the back multiple times on April 4.
In a statement to the account’s donors, Derek Hsu, a “Trust and Safety Analyst” with Indiegogo, said:
We’re reaching out to inform you that the ‘Michael T. Slager Support Fund’ campaign that you contributed to has been suspended. Our Trust & Safety team regularly conducts verifications and determined this campaign did not meet our trust and safety standards.
All contributions to the account, which was created on April 8, have been refunded, Hsu said.
Approximately $1,300 was raised in roughly 48 hours, and from contributors who left comments that indicated intentions of racism.
This was a second suspension of Owens’ attempt to raise money for Slager. Shortly after an April 7 launch, GoFundMe rejected the campaign from its site for violating the company’s terms and conditions, a spokesperson said.
Prior to its suspension, the account’s Indiegogo page read:
We’re campaigning to show our Support for Officer Michael T. Slager! We believe in all of our (law enforcement officers) and want to publicly support them! Although he may have made mis-steps (sic) in judgement (sic) he was protecting the community.
Protests and demonstrations in North Charleston continue peacefully, and with no disturbance or arrests. However, the president of the region’s local Fraternal Order of Police recently insinuated risk of violence, albeit it an apparently biased statement. John Blackmon stated in an April 9 press release:
Do not allow the professional race agitators to seize this moment to advance their often self-serving opinions of what is wrong in South Carolina.
Slager was arrested on April 7, after a witness’s video of the shooting was turned over to Scott’s family and state law enforcement.