A GoFundMe page aimed at raising a $ 5 million bond for the Wisconsin man accused of plowing his SUV during a Christmas parade in Waukesha has been pulled from the platform.
Darrell Brooks Jr. has been charged with five counts of first degree intentional homicide in the wake of Sunday’s public holiday event. Five people were pronounced dead at the scene while a sixth victim, Jackson Sparks, 8, died days later in an area hospital.
In a court appearance on Tuesday, Brooks was ordered to pay $ 5 million bail – sparking a swift reaction given that prosecutors had previously admitted that Brooks was only able to cross the parade route after he been suspended on an “inappropriate” bond.
At the time of the parade massacre, Brooks was on $ 1,000 bail after being arrested earlier this month for allegedly attempting to run over his child’s mother with his car.
According to screenshots first shared by Law Enforcement Today, the bail also resulted in a fundraising effort on Brooks’ behalf. Created by someone named James Norton, the page insisted that Brooks was the victim of a “racist” justice system and used hashtags such as #RacismIsReal and #BLM.
“On November 21, 2021 our dear friend Darrell Brooks was arrested for allegedly driving his car in a parade, as someone who personally knows Darrell I can tell you he would NEVER do such a thing and I know that ‘he is innocent of what he was accused of,’ Norton wrote, according to the screenshots.
“It is clear that there is more to the story that the media is not telling us and I am looking to increase the bail so that Darrell can be released and speak his truth to his side of the story in this tragic situation which sees a another black man behind bars in a purely political and racist trial.
The fundraiser went on to write that there was “no excuse for this continued treatment of black Americans by prosecutors across the country.”
A spokesperson for GoFundMe confirmed to Fox Business on Wednesday that the page has since been removed from the platform. The person who was attempting to raise funds for Brooks was also banned from using GoFundMe for future fundraisers.
“Misused fundraisers are very rare and we take all complaints very seriously,” the spokesperson said.
“Our team works with law enforcement to report issues and assist them with any investigations they feel are necessary.”
The move comes amid controversy for GoFundMe over its previous removal of fundraising pages for Kyle Rittenhouse, who was recently acquitted of killing two men and injuring a third in a semi-automatic shooting. style AR in Wisconsin last summer. The nighttime violence was sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man who was shot dead by a white policeman on August 23, 2020.
Now that Rittenhouse has been cleared of all charges of violence, a spokesperson said money can now be collected on his behalf through the platform.
“If anyone is acquitted of these charges, as Rittenhouse was today, fundraising has subsequently started for his legal defense and other expenses would not violate this policy,” according to GoFundMe.
“Fundraising to pay attorneys, cover legal fees, or help cover living expenses for a person acquitted of these charges could remain active as long as we determine that they are not violating any of our other terms and, for example, the goal is clearly stated and the correct beneficiary is added to the fundraiser.