GoFundMe Site For Six Charged Baltimore Officers Taken Down After 41 Minutes

816fd620-f069-11e4-a4a8-49179b3b0ba2_Baltimore-copsLike many, I am still waiting for the evidence used as the basis to charge the six officers in Baltimore for the death of Freddie Gray. This morning, however, I was disturbed to read that an effort to create a fundraising site for the defense of the officers was taken down on GoFundMe. It appears that the site has a very questionable standard for funding that does not afford accused parties a presumption of innocence in asking for support to fund their defense.

The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police created a GoFundMe page for the six officers after they were charged Friday. However, less than an hour later, it was taken down.

After 41 minutes, it has only raised $1,135 — considerably short of the $600,000 goal.

There is no confirmation on who is responsible. However, the site states the following : “‘Campaigns in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes’ are prohibited by our terms . . . GoFundMe cannot be used to benefit those who are charged with serious violations of the law.” Really? Why? I was under the impression that people were given a presumption of innocence in this country. Why shouldn’t this site be used to help guarantee a fair trial for anyone facing prosecution? Moreover, how do you define a serious violation? Clearly, this case would qualify but where is the line drawn?

This is a site that is designed to help people organize in making donations to support different causes. Giving such charity is a positive act, including giving money to guarantee a fully funded defense. Our criminal justice system is a foundational part of our society. It reflects our commitment to the rule of law. Central to that institution is the presumption of innocence. I find this policy of GoFundMe to be inexplicable and distasteful. Many people want to support the criminal justice system as much as environmental or other causes. The policy makes, in my view, an arbitrary and biased decision in barring those who are accused of serious offenses by the government. It should equally presumably bar those who are viewed as victims of government abuse like journalists or whistleblowers.

I also was a bit concerned to read Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby comments telling protesters: “I heard your calls for, ‘No Justice, No peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.” I generally think it is a bad idea for prosecutors to directly respond to public protests demanding criminal charges. Such protests should not have an influence on the decision to prosecute and it is always a concern, as with Mike Nifong in the Duke case, where prosecutors are seen as too responsive to public demands for criminal charges. This is not meant to suggest that a criminal case cannot be made but these press conferences can undermine the integrity of a prosecution if the chief prosecutor is viewed as too influenced by external events or demands.

346 thoughts on “GoFundMe Site For Six Charged Baltimore Officers Taken Down After 41 Minutes”

  1. Jonathan Turley: “Why? I was under the impression that people were given a presumption of innocence in this country. Why shouldn’t this site be used to help guarantee a fair trial for anyone facing prosecution?”

    Ask one of your students what ‘presumption of innocence’ means, and when/where/how/to whom it applies. In general, it applies to governmental actions.

  2. Trooperyork
    Death at the hands of another is always regrettable, no? That a gang of authorities do it to another human being while wearing a uniform of a “peace officer” ought to cause people to scratch and wonder. No?

  3. Driving while being a black parole officer…

    VIDEO: Ramapo cops draw weapons on parole officers

    Four black parole officers on official business were held at gunpoint and detained by police last year, videos recently obtained by The Journal News show.

    Black law enforcement leaders are criticizing Ramapo police for the incident last April, saying it highlights a larger problem with how police treat members of the black community.

  4. I wonder how many people have died from the drugs Freddie sold. Just a thought! I do believe the prosecutor reacted too swiftly. That could be by design to insure the officers are not convicted. To the person who thinks the police union will be able to provide attorneys for the officers; they still have to be paid and that money needs to come from somewhere. I don’t believe the union is allowed to use the dues money for attorney fees. I don’t know about the do’s and don’t’s of police unions so I can only speak for my union. Letter carriers accused of or charged with felonies or lessor crimes are not provided attorneys for free at the expense of the Union’s membership. Legal fees for six officers will be costly.

    I also wonder how many people have had go fund me websites put up were criminal defendants. Its clear that the left wing activists mounted a complaint campaign that caused the go fund me site for the officers to be pulled. They can have one posted at a site called indigo. I think that’s the name.

  5. I. Annie,

    The “affirmative action” is generational like the $22 Trillion “War on Poverty” since 1965. Some generations of Americans paid tax. Some generations received redistributed funds.

    The “alleged” scenario turns out to have been an actual case of a doctor in an ER internship. He encountered a patient who had been In a car wreck 2 weeks previously. The patient had something like an 80% severance that was on the verge of giving way completely. The patient persisted for 2 weeks with a massive “C2 Body Fracture.” The ER doctor said the slightest impact could have led to complete severance of the patient’s spine.

    The ER intern suggested that this “victim’s” recent history be investigated for previous injuries.


  6. @NickS

    Thanks, I just googled it. Salon is already crapping on Brooks for saying it. But even Blacks themselves see what is going on. Did you watch that Black People’s Court youtube thing above??? If not, try it! Just don’t be drinking anything while it is on, or you will need a new keyboard!

    Plus, I am sick and tired of the liberals expecting me as a white person to do something for black people. Screw ’em! I want black people to start doing some stuff for white people like me for a change! Such as:

    (1) Get married before the baby is born;
    (2) Sit your butt down in school, and learn what they are teaching instead of screwing around.
    (3) Quit teasing motivated black kids about “acting white.”
    (4) If you get food stamps, get off your fat lazy black butt in the morning and fix your kids breakfast. Why should the schools have to do what you are already getting money to do???
    (5) Quit selling dope. If the Mexicans can swim the Rio Grande and find work, and they don’t even speak the lingo, sooo can you!
    (6) Pull your stupid britches up!
    (7) Quit trying to be gangstas.
    (8) Quit giving your kids weird names. Bob and George and Henry and Mary and Susie work just fine, and they don’t need stupid names like Damonarika, and Tyronius, and Sharikaneeka, etc.

    I could go on, but you get the picture.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – the names parents give their children are designed to drive teachers crazy. And, of course, they have already taken the odd spelling so the child cannot individualize the spelling for themselves.

  7. Squeek, David Brooks had a good piece today as well. We throw insane amounts of money into the Dem big city wastelands and they just keep getting worse.

  8. J H Kunstler had a good blog post today about Baltimore, more or less. I can’t link it here because the name of his blog has the “F” word in it, but you can google him, and find it. Some excerpts:

    Of course, the Freddie Gray riots in Baltimore last week prompted the usual cries for “an honest conversation about race,” and countless appeals to fix the “broken” public school system. So, in the spirit of those pleas, I will advance a very plain and straightforward idea: above all, teach young black kids how to speak English correctly.

    I’m sure by now that the racial justice hand-wringers are squirming over this proposal. All dialects are equally okay in this rainbow society, they might argue. No they’re not. Have you noticed that TV news, business, show biz, education, and politics increasingly employ people whose parents came from India and other parts of Asia. Do they speak in a patois lacking in complex verb forms? Apparently not. Are they succeeding in American life, such as it is? Apparently so.

    Why is this crucial question of language absent from the public conversation about “the intractable problems of race in America?” Is it because both blacks and whites are too fearful, too cowardly, to face this particular problem of how English is spoken?

    We don’t want to. We’d rather wring our hands over “structural racism” and other canards. Why? Because Euro American whites have been programmed to “not offend” at all costs; Asian Americans are too busy being successful; and African Americans are too invested in their own excuse-for-failure industry, wringing money from offense-o-phobic whites.

    A year ago, I gave the opening day lecture to the entering honors freshman class at Rutgers, New Jersey’s State University. I swear at least half of that class of about 400 young people was made up of first generation kids of parents from India — owing, I suppose, to the current demographic of the state. Many of these kids were very dark-skinned, as dark as African Americans. Guess what? They didn’t speak in any kind of pidgin patois. They spoke regular American English. Do you suppose during their childhoods that the household fretted about “sounding white?” I doubt it. By the way, not only did these very bright, dark-skinned honors students speak English correctly, they also behaved politely. No fights broke out during the convocation. They effervescently launched themselves into their college careers — and then they went out for pizza.

    How about it America? Job number one: learn how to speak the English language. Everything else depends on it. Excuses not admissible.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  9. Everywoman,
    Your guesswork is shoddy, it means nothing. I’m sorry if your family is boring.

  10. “My daughter is a corpsman.”

    “My daughter is a lawyer.”

    “My brother is a policeman.”

    Those assertions mean nothing.

  11. You will not see one tenth of the blog posts or comments decrying the murder of Officer Brian Moore. There will be no protests. No press conference by President Obama expressing outrage at his murder. No demands that the Justice Department get involved. No demonstrations. No outrage at all. They save that all for the skells and career criminals like Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Freddie Grey. I expect Demetrius Blackwell to be the commencement speaker at Oberlin college next year.

    Because these people think that this is how is should be. Another cop shot dead. Big deal. If they don’t like it they should go do something else.

    Police lives matter. Just not to them.

  12. trooperyork

    As I’ve said, you touched a nerve. Your critics are trying dredge up an idea of a society filled with nothing but rogue cops, implying that their existence is the rule, not the exception. You are spot on. Not one word of condemnation for the scum that murdered this young man in cold blood. Don’t expect any sort of sympathies expressed by them. Their sympathies are with the criminals and the terrorists, until such time as they are chosen as a target. Let’s see them defend themselves with their bb guns, since society is on a path to deball the police to such an extent that they will soon cease to exist.

  13. Come on Professor. Some cop must have given out a speeding ticket to Rosa Parks somewhere out there in America. I know you can find a post to even it up. I know we can count on you.

  14. I repeat it is beyond them to even simply express sympathy to Officer Moore and his family. They just want to say they hate “bad cops.”

    Even in the face of a murder they can’t even up the human decency to regret his passing in even the simplest way.

    Police lives matter. Just not to you.

  15. Nick

    No, it’s better to choose an 85 year old ex cop, Serpico, who hasn’t been actively working in law enforcement for more than forty years, to discuss the problems with our current police departments. I’m not even mentioning the bullet fragments, unfortunately, still lodged in his brain, from a gunshot wound. While there is nothing humorous about that, it is comical to drag him out, after all these years, from la la land, to lecture the world on what should transpire with regard to the police. Never mind that he is so out of touch and clueless. Just remember how outrageously cute and adorable Al Pacino was in the movie. That should suffice. I wonder if it’s mashed potato Monday in the retirement home?

  16. You do hate all cops. Where is the expression of regret and the outrage at the murder of Officer Brian Moore? A 25 year old who had his whole life in front of him. Who played by the rules and went out to protect the community that hates him. Who probably hesitated because he didn’t want to be the next cop thrown under the racial outrage machine.

    Where are the comments decrying the murder of Officer Brian Moore? Where are the comments expressing outrage that this young man was gunned downed by a career criminal who you want to put back on the street because too many “minorities are incarcerated.” There will not be even 10% of the posts that grieved for skells like Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Freddie Grey. Not even 5%. Maybe .0075566.

    Police lives matter. Just not to you.

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