Master Sgt. Debra Clayton was a 17-year veteran of the force, a mother, and a beloved member of her community. She was tragically gunned down on January 9th by a murder suspect she was pursuing in a Wal-mart parking lot. Suspect Markeith Loyd is wanted for the December 2016 murder of a pregnant woman, and is still at large.
When her grieving colleagues and community should be focused on mourning her, they are instead dealing with fraudulent GoFundMe campaigns put up just hours after her death was announced.
“Unfortunately after tragic events there are evil people out there who are looking to take advantage of our community,” Orlando police Chief John Mina said. He said at least two fake fundraising campaigns were put up, including one for Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis who also died Monday in a separate incident in pursuit of the same suspect. Pastor Derrick McRae — a childhood friend of Clayton’s — of Experience Christian Center says his name was used for at least one of the fraudulent GoFundMe campaigns.
A statement on the department’s Facebook page reads: ” Please don’t let your desire to help lead to your being scammed.”
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi told News 6 “We are reaching out to GoFundMe now to ensure that these sites are properly vetted,” she said in an email to the station. “It is horrible that anyone would possibly seek to exploit such a tragedy.”
Gee, if only there were a way for GoFundMe to “ensure that these sites are properly vetted” for every case before fake fundraisers go up. Ah well, we can dream.