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GoFundMe shuts down legal defense fund for cop who was sued for on-duty shooting. Site claimed the page supported a ‘hate crime.’
Image source: GoFundMe.com screenshot

GoFundMe shuts down legal defense fund for cop who was sued for on-duty shooting. Site claimed the page supported a ‘hate crime.’


Crowdfunding site GoFundMe reportedly shut down a page set up to benefit an Indiana police officer who was involved in an on-duty shooting.

According to the South Bend Tribune, the organization shut the page down because it insisted the page was supporting a "hate crime."

What are the details?

The page was set up as a legal defense fund for South Bend Police Sgt. Ryan O'Neill, who was sued after an on-duty shooting.

The company reportedly shut down the page after insisting that the campaign supported a "hate crime."

South Bend Fraternal Order of Police President Harvey Mills told the Tribune, "Shockingly, GoFundMe told us that they cancelled the campaign because it was in support of a hate crime."

He added, "This is fundamentally wrong and I'm shocked that a company would accuse a police officer of a hate crime for simply defending himself from an armed attacker."

The incident involving O'Neill occurred in June after he responded to a call about a suspect breaking into vehicles at an apartment complex. O'Neill made contact with the suspect, who was seated in a vehicle in the parking lot. The suspect, 54-year-old Eric Logan, stood up and and that's when O'Neill noticed that the man's hand was bleeding, and he was clutching a woman's purse.

When O'Neill asked Logan about his hand and the bag, Logan reportedly pulled out an eight-inch knife and began advancing on O'Neill. In response, O'Neill fired his service weapon twice. Simultaneously, Logan threw his knife at O'Neill.

O'Neill sustained minor injuries to his arm as a result of the knife.

Logan was struck by one of O'Neill's bullets. Local authorities transported Logan to the hospital, where he later died.

In the days and weeks following the incident, activists protested and demanded O'Neill be fired. Later that month, Logan's estate filed a suit against the city and against O'Neill, insisting that the officer used excessive deadly force in his interaction with Logan.

The FOP later set up the crowdfunding campaign to benefit O'Neill and his family in order to assist with legal costs. The page raised more than $5,000 in the 24 hours following its launch.

What else?

Ryan Stubenrauch, spokesman for the FOP and an attorney himself, said the crowdfunding platform received multiple complaints about the page.

He told the company that O'Neill was not charged with any crimes and was simply a defendant in a lawsuit. Stubenrauch said that the company maintained its right to "cancel campaigns seeking to raise money for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate and other offenses."

Despite the company yanking the page, the FOP was able to kickstart another campaign to benefit O'Neill on a different fundraising platform: Fundly.

At the time of this writing, the page has received nearly $72,000 in donations.

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