UPDATED: Baltimore police union’s online fundraiser seeking $600,000 taken down after 41 minutes
The union representing Baltimore police officers set up an online fundraiser on Friday on behalf of the six officers indicted in connection with Freddie Gray’s death, only to have it disappear within an hour.
This story has been updated. Please see below.
The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police announced the campaign online at 4:32 pm local time, linking to a page on the fundraising site GoFundMe:
The campaign, bearing the misspelled title “Suppport Our Officers,” sought to raise $600,000 dollars to support the “wrongly charged” officers. The union stated on the site that it had received “many requests to open an online account” for donations.
The union raised $890 toward its goal before the site was taken down, with some donations coming from supporters identifying themselves as current or former officers:
As Reuters reported, one of the officers who arrested Gray earlier this month was charged with second-degree murder, while the other five face charges ranging from manslaughter to assault and misconduct in office.
That seemingly put the campaign at odds with GoFundMe’s terms of service, which bars campaigns mounted “in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts.”
Just 41 minutes after going online, the campaign page was not available. GoFundMe has not confirmed whether it pulled the page down, but the union said on Twitter that it was “suspended with no explanation.”
Apparently our GoFundMe account has been suspended with no explanation. We are working to find a new site for donations. Thank you!
— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) May 1, 2015
The confusion surrounding the fundraiser occurred not long after a 2012 post surfaced complaining that “video bloggers” were not filming police and firefighters as they responded to the 9/11 attacks:
UPDATE, 7:33 p.m. EST: GoFundMe confirmed via email that it took down the union’s fundraiser for violating its terms of service regarding “formal charges or claims of heinous crimes.”