Darrell Brooks GoFundMe: Rumors of $5M bail fundraiser on platform spark outrage
GoFundMe reportedly banned fundraisers for Kyle Rittenhouse from their platform, saying its “terms of service prohibit raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime” before allowing it back recently. But Law Enforcement Today claimed that the crowdfunding platform reportedly briefly allowed the fundraiser for Darrell Brooks Jr, the suspect in the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy. The report also stated that the campaign was up till November 23.
At the time, when Rittenhouse’s fundraiser was taken off, GoFundMe explained, “Once charges for a violent crime were brought against Kyle Rittenhouse in 2020, GoFundMe removed fundraisers that were started for the defendant’s legal defense. We did this as part of our regular monitoring efforts; in addition to those fundraisers, our Trust & Safety team removed hundreds of other fundraisers between August and December 2020 — unrelated to Rittenhouse — that we determined were in violation of this long-standing policy.”
According to the Law Enforcement Today report, the apparent campaign page for Brooks was started by James Norton, who wrote while urging $5 million as a donation, “On November 21st, 2021 our dear friend Darrell Brooks was arrested for allegedly driving his car into a parade, as someone who knows Darrell personally I can tell you that he would NEVER do such a thing and I know he is innocent of what he was charged with.”
Norton reportedly continued, “Clearly there is more to the story the media is not telling us and I am seeking to raise the bail so Darrell can be released and speak his truth to his side of the story in this tragic situation that sees another black man behind bars in a purely political and racist trial. There is no excuse for this continued treatment of black Americans by prosecutors around the country, everyone must be presumed innocent until proven guilty and we ask that he be treated equally as anyone else in this country would be treated and he should be released until found guilty,” before adding, “#BLM#IStandWithDarrell#NoJusticeNoPeace#RacismIsReal.”
GoFundMe reached out to MEAWW with a response. The spokesperson said: "I can confirm that we removed the fundraiser for Darrell Brooks before any funds were raised because it violates GoFundMe Terms of Service. The fundraiser organizer has also been banned from using the GoFundMe platform for any future fundraisers. Fundraisers with misuse are very rare, and we take all complaints very seriously. Our team works with law enforcement to report issues and assists them in any investigations they deem necessary. Immediately following news reports, GoFundMe mobilized its crisis response team and began monitoring the platform for fundraisers related to this event. We then launched the Waukesha Christmas Parade Hub as a way for donors to identify fundraisers that have been verified by our Trust & Safety team. This hub will continue to be updated as new fundraisers are verified to support impacted individuals and families."
Police said Brooks Jr was taken into custody after he plowed his SUV into people who were participating in a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The attack also affected dancing girls between 9 and 15 years old. In total, five lost their lives and more than 40 got injured.
As per reports, Brooks Jr is a rapper, whose stage name is MathBoi Fly. The 39-year-old is a serial offender and he’s been on criminals list since 1999 when he was convicted of substantial battery followed by another conviction for marijuana possession in 2002. In 2003 and 2005 also, he was found guilty of obstructing an officer and six years later, he was convicted for marijuana possession, and bail jumping. Brooks also has numerous open felony charges filed against him.