South Carolina Cop Crowdfunding Controversy: Should IndieGoGo Fund Defense Campaigns?

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The slaying video of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who was initially pulled over for having a busted tail light only to be shot in the back eight times, is pretty unforgivable. There’s not much the cop who pulled the trigger, Michael Slager, can say in defense of his actions. Especially considering that in the footage captured of the incident, Slager appears to plant a taser gun on the victim. But that hasn’t stopped a supporter of his, “R Owens” from attempting to raise money for Slager’s defense on Indiegogo. Well, actually there are currently five Indiegogo campaigns regarding Michael Slager — four in favor of the ex-cop, one somehow raising money against him:

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Only one of them has generated any real money, though. And I’m afraid to look on any other crowdfunding sites to see how many more “Michael Slager” accounts there are.

And real money might be more critical than ever now that Slager has been fired from the police department and charged with murder — a charge that could result in up to 30 years in prison or even the death penalty. With the firing, Slager might be on his own for the legal fees.

According to the comments on the main Indiegogo campaign, which has only raised $546 out of a $5,000 funding session (but still has 59 days left):

“We’re campaigning to show our Support for Officer Michael T. Slager! We believe in all of our LEOs and want to publicly support them! Although he may have made mis-steps in judgement he was protecting the community. Michael is a former Coast Guardsman with two stepchildren and a wife who is expecting a child, served for more than five years with the department without being disciplined. Please help in any way you can. He has served five years with the department without being disciplined.”

They’re going with the “well he never bit anyone before” bad dog owner defense here. While it doesn’t appear that Slager is involved with the funding call, this campaign is the latest controversial crowdsourcing move in recent days. Recently, a pizza place that refused to serve gay people saw the benefits of “discrimination” when a fund was established that netted the company over $800,000. If the campaign for Slager similarly goes big, it’s likely that the USA is seriously overdue for a large scale discussion about what we want this country to be.

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