GoFundMe pulls page aimed at raising $5 million bail for Waukesha Christmas parade suspect
A GoFundMe page aimed at collecting a $ 5 million bail for the Wisconsin man accused of plowing his SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha has been pulled off the platform.
Darrell Brooks Jr. was charged with five counts of first degree willful homicide following Sunday's holiday event. Five people were pronounced dead on the scene, while a sixth victim, 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, died days later in an area hospital.
During a court hearing Tuesday, Brooks was sentenced on $ 5 million bail - a quick reaction as prosecutors had previously admitted that Brooks was only able to break the parade route after hitting one "Inappropriately low" bond had jumped.
At the time of the Parade Massacre, Brooks was on bail for $ 1,000 after being arrested earlier this month for allegedly attempting to run his child over his child's mother.
The bail also sparked a fundraiser on behalf of Brooks, according to Screengrabs, first shared by Law Enforcement Today. The site was set up by a person named James Norton and insisted that Brooks was a victim of a “racist” judicial system, using hashtags like #RacismIsReal and #BLM.
“On November 21, 2021, our dear friend Darrell Brooks was arrested for allegedly driving his car to a parade. As someone who knows Darrell personally, I can tell you that he would NEVER do such a thing and I know that he is innocent of what he was charged with, ”Norton wrote, according to the screenshots.
“There is clearly more to the story that the media doesn't tell us, and I'm trying to raise bail so Darrell can be released and tell his truth about his side of the story in this tragic situation where another black man is behind bars in a purely political and racist process. "
The fundraiser's organizer said there was "no excuse for this continued treatment of black Americans by prosecutors across the country."
A GoFundMe spokesman confirmed to Fox Business on Wednesday that the site has since been removed from the platform. The person trying to raise money for Brooks has also been banned from using GoFundMe for future fundraisers.
"Abuse fundraisers are very rare and we take all complaints very seriously," said the spokesman.
"Our team works with law enforcement agencies to report issues and assists them with any investigations they deem necessary."
The move comes amid controversy for GoFundMe over the previous removal of pages devoted to fundraising for Kyle Rittenhouse, who was recently acquitted, killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle disturbance last summer in Wisconsin to have. The night violence was triggered by the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man who was shot dead by a white police officer on August 23, 2020.
Now that Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all violent allegations, a spokesman said that money could now be raised through the platform on his behalf.
"If someone were acquitted of these allegations, as Rittenhouse was today, they would then go on to fund a legal defense fundraiser and other expenses would not violate this policy," said GoFundMe.
"A fundraiser to pay lawyers, to cover legal fees, or to support the ongoing living expenses of a person acquitted of these charges could remain active as long as we determine that they do not violate our other terms, such as the purpose clearly stated and correct Beneficiary will be added to the fundraiser. "
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