NEWS
02/11/2018 14:36 EST | Updated 02/12/2018 15:20 EST

Gerald Stanley GoFundMe Fundraiser Won't Be Removed, Company Says

Stanley was acquitted of second-degree murder in the 2016 shooting death of Colten Boushie.

A screenshot of a GoFundMe campaign in support of Gerald Stanley.
GoFundMe
A screenshot of a GoFundMe campaign in support of Gerald Stanley.

An online fundraiser for a Saskatchewan farmer acquitted of second-degree murder will remain online despite calls for its removal.

The fundraiser is for Gerald Stanley, acquitted Friday in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, a Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation.

"Given the jury verdict, this campaign does not violate our terms of service," GoFundMe spokeswoman Rachel Hollis told HuffPost Canada in an email.

A Saskatchewan jury found Stanley not guilty after 13 hours of deliberation on Friday.

Raised $41,000 in one day

Maple Creek, Sask. resident Sam Olson created the fundraiser on behalf of Stanley's son, Sheldon. It's raised nearly $41,000 in one day.

Olson did not immediately respond to request for comment.

On Twitter, many Canadians called for the campaign to be taken down, saying that it violates GoFundMe's terms and conditions.

GoFundMe's terms state that it cannot be used for "campaigns deemed by GoFundMe, in its sole discretion, to be in support of, or for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases."

The page for the Stanley campaign says it's to help the family recoup legal fees and move on from the case.

"The Stanley family has spent thousands upon thousands of dollars surrounding this ordeal," the page reads. "All funds raised will be going to the Stanley Family, in an effort to help them recoup some of their lost time, property ... and sanity during this entire difficult situation they have been dealing with over the past two years."
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GoFundMe
A screenshot of a GoFundMe campaign for the family of Colten Boushie.

Another GoFundMe campaign, created in September in support of the Boushie family, has raised over $76,000 to date.

"I'd like to thank you for all your sharing and generous donations to this point. The money is helping to take some burden off the family as they pursue justice daily," the page says.

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Acquitted of charges

The jury heard that Boushie was shot in the head as he sat in an SUV on Stanley's farm near Biggar, Sask.

The SUV driver testified that the group went to the Stanley property in search of help with a flat tire.

Stanley, 56, testified that he fired warning shots to scare the group off. He said that the fatal shot occurred when he reached into the SUV to grab the keys out of the ignition and his gun "just went off."

Thousands of Canadians spent Saturday at one of several rallies across the country as part of a day of action to support the family of Boushie, and to protest the verdict in the trial.

With files from The Canadian Press

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