The Baltimore Sun reports the popular fundraising site has disallowed contributions to the officers. According to GoFundMe spokeswoman Kelsea Little, a page set up on the site by the Baltimore police union has been removed.
“GoFundMe removed the fundraising campaign created for the Baltimore police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray,” Little said. “GoFundMe cannot be used to benefit those who are charged with serious violations of the law. The campaign clearly stated that the money raised would be used to assist the officers with their legal fees, which is a direct violation of GoFundMe’s terms. Specifically, ‘campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts’ are not permitted on GoFundMe.”
The campaign page’s removal comes days after the police union opened an account with GoFundMe on Friday. The police union’s president Gene Ryan mentioned how “appalled” he was at the charges against city officers filed by State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.
“We are disappointed in an apparent rush to judgment given the fact that the investigation into this matter has not been concluded,” Ryan wrote in a released statement. “Our officers, like every other American citizen, are entitled to due process and we will continue to support them throughout the judicial process which we believe will result in a finding of innocence.”
GoFundMe’s rejection of the police union’s campaign comes as the latest development to occur since Gray’s death on April 19, one week after he was injured in police custody. Commenting on the situation, Mosby concluded that the 25-year-old Baltimore resident was illegally arrested and suffered a spinal injury while unrestrained in a police transport wagon. Mosby added that Gray’s repeated appeals for medical assistance were ignored by the officers.
Taking to Twitter, the police union mentioned that it is “working to find a new site for donations.”