Economy

Eric Garner’s Family Hasn’t Received Money Raised In His Name On Crowdfunding Sites

CREDIT: AP Photo

Esaw Garner, wife of Eric Garner, attends a news conference at the National Action Network headquarters in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 after a grand jury's decision not to indict a New York police officer involved in her husband's death.

More than a dozen crowdfunding projects were erected in the wake of Eric Garner’s death last year in an out pour of sympathy and support to his family. But Eric Garner’s family hasn’t received any of the money raised across at least 19 different crowdfunding accounts, DNAInfo reported.

“I feel like people are trying to use my father’s name for their own gain,” Erica Garner, 24, told DNAInfo New York. “It’s unfortunately a sad situation.”

Fundraising campaigns, some of which claim to be authorized by or organized with family approval, on Indiegogo, GoFundMe and Fundly have raised at least $120,000. And according to Garner’s family, no one really knows where the money is going.

An IndieGogo campaign organizer who raised $40,000 to support Garner’s children refused to turn over the funds and then seemingly disappeared.

Money raised from one Fundly campaign that raised $75,000 is reportedly being held hostage by the crowdfunding site. Andrew Doty of St. Louis, who launched the campaign in December, said Fundly won’t disperse the funds until it can verify they’re going directly to the family, DNAInfo reported.

After getting calls from people claiming to be Garner’s relatives, Doty agreed to send the money to the family’s lawyer with Carr’s approval. The funds are still in limbo.

Crowdfunding has been praised for its ability to quickly collect money for communities and individuals looking to pay medical bills, college tuition and support crime victims.

But crowdfunding campaigns have garnered some skepticism despite becoming more commonplace. Washington State’s Attorney General filed a suit on behalf 31 residents who gave money to Atlius Management, an entertainment firm, on Kickstarter for a project that never materialized. Moreover, Pando reported, Reddit users have kept a running list of crowdfunding campaigns that have taken funding but never made good on their promises.