A fundraiser created to help Gerald Stanley recover his legal fees has prompted fury online, with many calling for GoFundMe to remove the page entirely.
Stanley, a farmer from Saskatchewan, was found not guilty in the death of a 22-year-old Indigenous man named Colten Boushie Friday.
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The jury’s decision led to nationwide protests over the weekend, with many saying racism against Indigenous Peoples impacted the case’s outcome. The Boushie family, along with activists, have said they will fight for an appeal.
A GoFundMe page titled “Gerald Stanley Support Fund,” also drew anger online.
The page reads that money raised will go to renovating Stanley’s farm, repairing vehicles and paying off legal fees.
Twitter users spoke out saying they were “disgusted” and “deeply disappointed” by the website’s decision to host the fundraiser.
“This organization does so much good, but I’ll never see it the same way again,” one Twitter user named Jean Knowles said of GoFundMe.
Others warned that several donations were made using racist pseudonyms, as well as under the names “Justin Trudeau” and “Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.”
The online fundraiser was created by Sam Olsen of Maple Creek, Sask., on behalf of the Stanley family on Feb. 9.
While it’s unclear how Olsen is acquainted with the family, GoFundMe confirmed to Global News in an email that the page is verified.
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The statement explained that GoFundMe will not remove the page, which had collected $84,000 of its $100,000 goal by Monday afternoon.
“Given the jury verdict, this campaign does not violate our terms of service,” spokeswoman Rachel Hollis said.
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While GoFundMe said the page does not violate its policy, a petition on change.org is calling for the website to remove it.
The petition, created by Cassandra Miles of Issaquah, Wash., had received about 400 signatures by Monday afternoon.
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“This is a slap in the face to The Boushie/Baptiste Family, First Nations People,” the petition said of the fundraiser.
“Go Fund Me should take the platform down, refund every bit of that money or divert it to anti-hate crime causes, and issue a public apology IMMEDIATELY.”