Cleveland Police Chief Warns: GoFundMe Campaigns For Facebook Live Murder Victim Might Not be Legit

Following the devastating murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin in Cleveland, Ohio, the city’s police chief Calvin Williams warned those wanting to donate funds to the family through crowdfunding platform GoFundMe must be careful when it comes to scams.

On Sunday, Godwin was allegedly shot to death by Steven Stephens, who broadcasted the killing on Facebook Live. Godwin was walking down the street in Cleveland when Stephens approached and shot him after asking him to say “Joy Lane” (the name of Stephens’ girlfriend). Stephens then claimed that he had killed 13 others, but the Cleveland police have yet to find other victims. The suspect is currently on the run and could be in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, or Michigan.

During a press conference on Monday, Williams reportedly stated several GoFundMe campaign accounts that have been set up since the murder were not sanctioned by Godwin’s family. GoFundMe spokesperson has confirmed that this campaign, which was set up by Arizona resident Wesley Scott Alexander, is considered the only legit initiative dedicated to the victim and his family. It’s description reads:

Earlier today a horrific homicide was live streamed on Facebook in Cleveland. Mr Godwin, in his 70’s, was brutally senselessly murdered. I cannot comprehend this total disregard for human life. Such a sweet old man. I cannot imagine the pain his family is going through right now. I am just a kid from Arizona who unfortunately saw this video on Facebook and wanted to help. Take initiative. I’ll post photos of me delivering the help. I know this won’t bring their loved one back but it’s the least we can do. I hope they find peace.”

Alexander shared GoFundMe’s message to him:

Originally seeking $20,000, the campaign has so far secured nearly $29,000 from more than 1,200 donors.


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