In the past couple weeks, small town of Ferguson, Missouri has been in the midst of infamous riots over police officer Darren Wilson shooting and killing an 18-year-old, Michael Brown, on August 9th. The town’s officials stated that Brown was a suspect in a robbery that was committed minutes before the shooting and was shot six times by Wilson. Brown appeared to be unarmed and had no criminal record. This sparked public outraged because of a longstanding racial tension in the region.
On Monday (August 18th) supporters of Wilson launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise $100,000 in his name. Within 24 hours, the campaign raised well over $30,000 from 798 backers. Explaining details about the campaign, organizers wrote, “We stand behind Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives. All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have including legal fees.”
Not only has the campaign received a lot of attention, International Business Times revealed, as of Tuesday afternoon, the Facebook page “Support Darren Wilson” had more than 30,000 fans, many of whom are presumably fellow law enforcement officers, “LEOs.”
International Business Times also reported besides donating to the campaign website, those looking to show their support towards Wilson can also order a Darren Wilson t-shirt on the website Teespring.com. The shirts are emblazoned with a police badge image along with the phrase, “Officer Darren Wilson, I Stand by You.” So far, only 58 shirts have been sold.
While Wilson’s campaign has done well during its first 24 hours, the “Michael Brown Memorial Fund” on the same crowdfunding platform has raised nearly $91,000 by close to 4,000 backers within its first week. According to the campaign’s website, “Michael Brown was an 18 year old that was killed by a Ferguson Police Officer on Saturday, August 9th. His family is now seeking justice for Michael’s death. Their pursuit for justice will be lengthy and hard but with the support of the community they will get justice.”
“If you are willing to support Michael’s family, please donate to Michael Brown’s Memorial Fund. These funds will assist his family with costs that they will acuire as they seek justice on Michael’s behalf. All funds will be given to the Michael Brown family.”
Another campaign by the name “Feed the Students of Ferguson” has also raised $104,000, and has only two days left. All donations go directly to the St. Louis Area Foodbank and will be used to feed kids in Ferguson and nearby areas.
The campaign reads, “As the world watches the events unfolding in Ferguson, many people have thought, ‘how can I help?’ As a public school teacher, my first thought is always about the children involved in any tragic situation like this. When I found out school had been canceled for several days as a result of the civil unrest, I immediately became worried for the students in households with food instability. Many children in the US eat their only meals of the day, breakfast and lunch, at school. With school out, kids are undoubtedly going hungry.”
“ALL OF THIS MONEY WILL GO TO FEED KIDS IN FERGUSON. A dollar or a hundred dollars, it doesn’t matter. You will be helping to put food in the mouth of a child who needs it. Regardless of your opinion on the civil unrest in Ferguson, there is no need for innocent children to go hungry because of it.”
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