Crowdfunding service GoFundMe removed a page Wednesday dedicated to raising money for fired South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, the website confirmed in a press release. Slager, a member of the force in North Charleston, was charged with murder Tuesday for the fatal shooting of black motorist Walter Scott and then dismissed.
An anonymous organizer set up the fundraising page, titled the “Michael T. Slager Support Fund,” after authorities announced the charges against Slager. The 33-year-old cop told authorities he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Scott, 50, in a confrontation that occurred after Scott fled from his car during a routine traffic stop. A video of the incident later showed Slager shot an apparently unarmed Scott in the back as he attempted to flee.
The organizer has since set up a new fundraising page for Slager on rival crowdfunding site IndieGogo, as well as allied Facebook and Twitter profiles. The IndieGoGo page had raised $60 by 3 p.m. EDT out of a $5,000 goal.
“Although he may have made missteps in judgment, 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,” the fundraising campaign’s IndieGoGo description said.
The North Charleston Police Department fired Slager from his position Wednesday, Mayor Keith Summey said at a press conference. City officials will examine Slager’s record for any other instances of wrongdoing, and all of the city’s police officers will be required to wear body cameras. Despite Slager’s termination, North Charleston will continue to cover medical expenses for his wife, who is eight months pregnant.