While accepting preorders for our last coin, we received feedback from numerous upset parties via social media. Their actions went beyond simply requesting us to take down the coin and included accusations of mal-intent, slandering our work, and attempting to identify our employees by circulating images of innocent parties on Facebook groups. These accusations of mal-intent including some users stating we have a “history” of this behavior are libelous and wrong. Additionally, their attempts to identify our employees and circulating images of innocent individuals only adds to the malicious nature of their actions. Furthermore, another group claimed a theft of “their” logo, which we not only paid a 3rd party company for, but also found that it is easily searchable and available on multiple forums. This libelous spread of misinformation regarding our intentions and our team caused us to immediately pause production and try to respond to these false rumors. As such, we were faced with a difficult situation and chose not to proceed with our design despite receiving positive feedback from LEOs that are not only members of the agencies involved, but were present at said events. This decision subsequently prevented us from utilizing the profits to donate to a worthy cause.
A little backstory: We are a recently created and LEO-owned and managed company with a passion for challenge coins, patches, and other designs desired by and most often created by our brothers and sisters in Blue. We were founded with the best of intentions to share this passion and give our friends and colleagues an outlet to produce their ideas while simultaneously raising money to help officers in need. Regardless of operating in the red, we continued a set 10% contribution of all sales, including production costs, to our LODD and officer in need discretionary fund. As we increase our business, we hope to at some point increase our contribution.
Prior to the launching of this last design, we had already raised nearly $1,000 for our discretionary fund despite being a new small business with limited products. Although our website states that we put aside 10% of total sales, we had noted on this specific coin design, which was designed and submitted for production before this specific LODI/LODD was announced and publicized, that profits (as in all) would be donated. In fact, the reason we decided to proceed with the release after learning of the LODD was so that we could in fact raise money for our fallen brother and others in his honor. Despite raising several thousand dollars immediately after launch, as a result of the malicious attacks, we canceled our original design and subsequently refunded many customers as we proceed in another direction to satisfy both those parties who don’t actually “Back the Blue”, as well as our loyal customers.
Upon ceasing production, our team still donated $500 to the Ofc. Sicknick fund on GoFundMe as his memory should not be affected by the anger of others. While this may be a small fraction of what we had initially raised for his and other Blue families using said design and hoped to donate based upon all profits of the canceled design, we hope our original plan of donating along with our intentions go toward a great cause.
We apologize to those we upset during this trying time, yet want to thank the outpouring of support from fellow LEOs that reached out to us and truly Back the Blue after the hate, misinformation, and “cancel” campaign instigated by many on social media, which we are ashamed to admit are also fellow LEOs. We hope we can continue to put our hobbies to good use raising money for you guys, whether you support us or not, as we are still one big family. As always, stay safe.