- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 27, 2020

GoFundMe confirmed Thursday it removed fundraisers created on its site in support of Kyle Rittenhouse, a teen arrested for murder following a deadly shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The popular crowdfunding company told The Washington Times it pulled fundraisers made for the 17-year-old murder suspect and refunded all donations contributed to those campaigns.

GoFundMe said the campaigns were taken down for violating its terms of service but did not specify further. Its terms prohibit “activity that GoFundMe may deem in its sole discretion to be unacceptable.”

It was not clear how many related campaigns were pulled from GoFundMe or the amount they raised, although The Times found at least three that had together raised at least $1,000.

A campaign for Mr. Rittenhouse created on rival crowdfunding site Fundly raised more than $50,000 within several hours Wednesday, meanwhile, but subsequently disappeared as well.

Fundly did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

Mr. Rittenhouse was arrested earlier Wednesday in Antioch, Illinois, just south of the Wisconsin border, following a shooting that claimed two lives the night before in nearby Kenosha.

Protests have taken place nightly in Kenosha after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was repeatedly shot from behind Sunday by a local police officer, Rusten Sheskey, and left paralyzed.

Armed with a long gun, Mr. Rittenhouse said in a video recorded Tuesday evening that he was protecting businesses in Kenosha after violence erupted there in recent nights.

Video captured later that evening showed Mr. Rittenhouse being chased by an unknown group of people before shots ring out. He then appeared to make a phone call and started to flee, but then he tripped and fell to the ground before more shots are fired.

Two people were killed as a result of the shootings, identified by loved ones as Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and a third person was injured.

Mr. Rittenhouse remains in custody pending an extradition hearing to transfer custody to Wisconsin, the Village of Antioch Police Department said in a statement Wednesday. He has since been charged with counts of first-degree intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide and two counts of recklessly endangering safety, and is slated to appear in court Friday.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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