Supporters were raising money Tuesday to help a Chicago officer post bond after he was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy, but the fundraising website being used to collect funds removed the page shortly after it was posted.
The fundraising page appearing to have been created by Officer Jason Van Dyke’s wife sought donations to help the officer post bond after he turned himself into authorities Tuesday morning. As of 11 a.m., the page had raised more than $10,200.
The campaign was later removed by the GoFundMe website "for a violation of our terms and conditions," a spokeswoman for the site said in a statement.
"GoFundMe does not accept campaigns for the defense or support of anyone alleged to be involved in criminal activity," said spokeswoman Kelsea Little. "All donations will be automatically refunded to the donors."
The page's description said Van Dyke is a “highly decorated and respected officer” who is “fighting for his freedom and justice.”
“My husband is having a bond hearing and if we do not raise this money he will be detained on 11/24/15,” a message from Tiffany Van Dyke read on the GoFundMe page. “With the holidays approaching our husband and father needs to be home with his family. I sincerely thank you in advance for your kind donation. I do not want to have to fight this battle alone nor can we afford to fight it.”
She added that he has been a Chicago Police officer for nearly 15 years and received numerous awards.
Van Dyke turned himself into authorities Tuesday morning and was later ordered held without bail. He is accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in a 2014 incident that was captured on dash-cam video.
Attorneys on both sides have called the video “disturbing,” “violent and graphic” and “difficult to watch.”
Attorney Dan Herbert has argued the video alone is not enough to determine if Van Dyke "acted inappropriately" when he fatally shot McDonald.
"He is scared to death about possible outcomes here," Herbert said during a press conference Friday afternoon. "But he has been a professional and he has really been selfless. His concern is for his wife and his two young kids who are in grammar school."
The video has also been described as so graphic that McDonald’s mother is concerned its release would prompt an uproar, according to an attorney representing the McDonald family. Attorney Mike Robbins said Thursday McDonald's mother "is not looking forward to the day this is released."
Herbert maintained that he’s confident Van Dyke's actions were "not only lawful, but also within department policy and within his training."
The city has paid $5 million to the McDonald family, but there have since been calls for the officer’s firing. He was placed on desk duty following the shooting.
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