GoFundMe Removes Fundraisers for Shooting Suspect Kyle Rittenhouse

GiveSendGo keeps fundraiser up
August 27, 2020 Updated: August 28, 2020

The GoFundMe fundraising website took down multiple pages seeking to raise money for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager arrested for at least one shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin this week, while a competing website opted to keep a fundraiser for the teen up.

“I can confirm that the fundraisers to support Kyle Rittenhouse have been removed from the platform because they violated GoFundMe Terms of Service, and all donors have been refunded,” a spokesperson for the website said in an email to The Epoch Times.

GoFundMe’s terms of service say that people cannot use the site to raise funds “for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind.”

A number of fundraisers remain live for people arrested for crimes during demonstrations. Over $1 million has been raised for a bail fund for people arrested for protesting in Portland, where riots have taken place nearly every night since May 28.

One of the fundraisers for Rittenhouse raised nearly $3,400 before being taken down. The organizer called for supporting the teen because “he’s in jail for defending himself against Mobs.” Another said the teen was charged “after protecting his life and shooting 3 attackers.”

On the other hand, GoFundMe has promoted the campaigns for the three people who were shot in the Wisconsin city.

A fundraiser for Rittenhouse created on an alternative fundraising website, GiveSendGo was remaining up, a spokeswoman told The Epoch Times in an email.

“GiveSendGo is committed to giving both sides of the political culture in our society an equal chance to let their voices be heard. We will not be removing this campaign,” Heather Wilson said.

GiveSendGo describes itself as a Christian crowdfunding site. Another employee said the site was being cyber attacked because of the campaign.

Epoch Times Photo
In this still image obtained from a social media video, a man is shot in his arm during unrest in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 25, 2020. (Brendan Gutenschwager/via Reuters)

Rittenhouse was charged on Thursday with six counts, including one count of first-degree reckless homicide.

He is slated to be extradited from Illinois to Wisconsin following a hearing on Friday.

A police chief in Illinois confirmed to The Epoch Times that the teen was part of the agency’s youth police cadet program. Rittenhouse posted pro-police messaging on social media.

Video footage appeared to show the teen shooting three people in Kenosha on Tuesday night. While some say he is at fault, others argued that he was acting in self-defense.

Lin Wood, an attorney, said that he connected with the teen’s family and “help is on the way.”

“Kyle will have excellent legal representation. We owe him a legal defense,” said Wood, who is representing Covington Catholic high school student Nicholas Sandmann in defamation cases against news agencies and reporters.

Others said the men Rittenhouse appeared to shoot were trying to protect others.

“He put his life on the line for others. That’s what he did,” a friend of Anthony Huber, one of the men who died, told CBS 58.

Hannah Gittings, Huber’s partner, told demonstrators Wednesday night that Huber “took down an armed gunman” with his skateboard.

Kenosha Police Department Dan Miskinis told reporters in a press conference that the shootings were a case of “senseless violence.” He said he didn’t know what led to the gunshots. In an update Thursday, he said he had no further information.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with information from GiveSendGo and about the charges Rittenhouse faces.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber