As Arrest Made, Murdered NYC Activist's Pals Run GoFundMe To "Take Time Off Work"

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Oct 06, 2023 - 11:40 AM

Friends of murdered New York City liberal activist Ryan Thoresen Carson have created a GoFundMe page in which the "collective" solicits donations so they can take "time off of work" -- and have already raked in $69,000. However, some donors are chipping in just for the privilege of leaving scathing comments. 

Carson was stabbed to death at 3:50 am on Monday in New York's Bedfort-Stuyvesant neighborhood, as he and his girlfriend were returning from a Long Island wedding. They encountered an enraged young man who was kicking over parked mopeds and scooters before turning his rage on Carson, asking, "What the f*** are you looking at?  I'll kill you!"

In video that captured the crime, Carson be heard repeatedly telling his assailant to "chill." Carson was stabbed multiple times, including a fatal strike to his heart. (Note: Issuing orders to an enraged man is seldom a sound de-escalation strategy.)

On Thursday, NY cops arrested 18-year-old Brian Dowling -- who lives near the crime scene on Lafayette Avenue near Malcom X Boulevard -- and charged him with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. A search of Dowling's apartment produced a sweatshirt matching the one that appears in security-camera video of the murder, along with a knife. He'd previously received summonses for disorderly conduct, and allegedly smashed items in his girlfriend's apartment. In a 911 call, his aunt described him as mentally disturbed. 

Meanwhile, a self-identified "collective of Ryan's close friends" is managing a GoFundMe account on behalf of themselves and Carson's girlfriend Claudia Morales. However, rather than seeking funds for funeral and other final expenses, the group says they need the money "to eas[e] the burden and stress of this horrifying situation so that we can have space and time to grieve." More pointedly, they say "immediate needs are to offset the costs of working class people taking time off of work to properly mourn."

A tearful Dowling in police custody on Thursday (Gregory P. Mango/New York Post)

"We hope you may find his thoughts on mutual aid, his works of advocacy, and understand that his radical principles of community care, justice, and dismantling an individualized profit-centered way of life are worth carrying forward," the page says. 

As of Thursday night, the GoFundMe page reflected more than 1,300 donations totaling $69,579. However, some small donations have been made by people paying for the opportunity to condemn the group for using Ryan's death to create a time-off fund. 

A donor identifying as Scott Adams -- we don't know if it's the Scott Adams -- chipped in $5 and posted "All Cops Are Bastards," echoing the slogan that, in acronym form, adorned a shirt once worn by Carson's girlfriend. She has also been a "Black Lives Matter" activist. Carson, who worked for the New York Public Interest Research Group, campaigned for bottle-deposit laws and supervised drug injection sites.

Carson's girlfriend sporting an "all cops are bastards" shirt

Other $5-donor highlights: 

  • "It's abhorrent for someone to use the MURDER (not "loss" or "tragedy") of her boyfriend, and his life's work and reputation, to manipulate people to give her loads of cash. His body was barely even cold." 

  • "I donated $5 because it was the minimum but I wanted to say this: you people are disgusting, depraved ghouls for profiting off of this man's death."

This week, Carson's friends told Gothamist that the slain activist would have empathized with his murderer. “I'm absolutely positive that he would immediately see that this was a person who was suffering from a lack of resources in our community," said state assemblywoman Emily Gallagher. 

“I know he would have wanted people to use his death as a means to talk about structural wrongs in the city,” said Melissa Lozada-Oliva. We're guessing he'd probably be ok with the collective vacation fund too.