Two stories went viral last week about Dwayne Stafford, of Charleston. The first was about Stafford managing to assault race-war-mongering Charleston shooter Dylan Roof. The second was about how, the very next day, Stafford was able to make bond and get out of jail.
The version of that second story that was extensively circulated (including by our own website) was that Stafford had received donations from those supportive of his assault on Roof and that those donations had been enough to cover his $100K bond.
It seemed a wonderful result for a man who did what many of us would have liked to. The problem is, that’s not the real story.
If you look at the donation pages set up for Dwayne Stafford, you’ll find that the actual donations he received remained under $1,000.
I reached out to The Black Collective, who were responsible for the original donation effort on Stafford’s behalf. Their representative stated that that story about $100K in donations, is false.
Stafford only had $379 collected toward his bail. After the Dylan Roof story broke, local activists looked into his case and found that he had been held for 517 days without trial–a situation that happens to many poor people who rely on pro-bono lawyers to defend them, and whose lawyers wave the right to a speedy trial for various reasons. The activists got in contact with a local Bail Bonds company who accepted the $379 and posted Stafford’s bail on the condition that the remaining $2600, the original bail amount) be met within 3 weeks.
The Black Collective stated that several GoFundMe campaigns claiming connection to Dwayne Stafford were not “actually legit.”
Mr. Stafford is now out of jail but he is also homeless and being cared for by a local activist.
The legitimate Crowdrise campaign for Dwayne Stafford shows only $285 raised thus far. An interview with Stafford and his lawyer can be found on The Black Collective’s website. In it, Stafford states that he had the newspaper with the headline about the Charleston church shooting. He stated that he felt like the victims were his family. He described getting to know Roof in jail, trying to figure him out and get his story. He describes finding out that Roof wanted to start a race war and feeling depressed because of what Roof revealed to him about his motivations and lack of remorse for the shooting. Stafford describes Roof as “a character.”
He described inspired to attack Roof after hearing an interview with Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy and Angela Lee where DJ Envy said that Roof’s fellow inmates wouldn’t be able to “get to” Roof because he was on protective custody. Charlamagne then allegedly stated “Oh yeah, they gonna get him.”
He alleges that the officers in charge would let him go near Roof’s cell because they saw him as non-threatening because of his usually good behavior. Immediately before the attack, he asked the female guard if she was going on break and if she could get him some crackers. While Roof’s protective custody was down, Stafford attacked.
Stafford stated life is what you make of it, my life is “based on the predicaments I’ve been in.” He describes being in and out of foster homes as a child and being homeless.
The activists involved in Stafford’s case are currently trying to access any additional money that may have been put into his commissary after his release.