News / USA

Online Funds for Ferguson Officer Surpass Victim's Fund

Protestors at the St. Louis County Justice Center call for the arrest of Police Officer Darren Wilson in Clayton, Missouri, Aug. 20, 2014.
Protestors at the St. Louis County Justice Center call for the arrest of Police Officer Darren Wilson in Clayton, Missouri, Aug. 20, 2014.

Online fundraising for the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teen in Missouri earlier this month has topped $200,000, surpassing money raised for the victim’s family.

Separate accounts have been set up on the website Go Fund Me, where the public can donate to personal causes and charities. Thousands of supporters of Officer Darren Wilson and 18-year-old Michael Brown have contributed, from a few dollars to thousands, to the general funds for legal fees and family expenses.

Wilson's supporters have given twice as much as Brown's in 24 hours. Donations totaling more than $100,000 since Thursday brought the "Support Officer Darren Wilson" fund to $220,000 by late Friday morning. The fund was started four days ago.

Meanwhile, the official Michael Brown Memorial Fund that began last week, had $157,000 at the same time Friday, an increase of about $45,000 over the same period.

Canada-based fundraising expert Vanessa Chase, who reviewed data from both funds on Thursday, says that in polarized cases like the Ferguson shooting, donors see their contributions as advocacy, not charity.

"People are really making a personal political statement when they make a gift like this. I highly doubt that someone who was feeling politically neutral would get involved in an issue like this or make a donation to either side," she said. "I think you have to really feel the alignment of values with what's going on there."

Amid allegations of systemic racial discrimination and calls from protestors to arrest Wilson, a white policeman in the central U.S. town of Ferguson, Missouri, he has not been charged in Brown's August 9 death.

Law enforcement groups around the country have donated and so have relatives of police officers, who cite that relationship as their reason for giving.

One of the top donors on Wilson's crowdfunding website, identified as Louis Dorfman, gave $1,000 along with a note that read, "Know that lots of Americans realize the tough job you have every day and that you deserve to have your side of the story publicized at least equal to those prejudging you and your need to defend yourself--the right of every citizen."

Brown's supporters also believe the rights of life and due process are on the line.

Joy Jackson, the top named donor for the Brown fund, said the $2,000 contribution was to "peacefully fight injustice on our people."

Then there are people like Lauren Allen who are choosing a different way to get involved.

The doctoral student is one of several activists asking the public to help get a busload of students and young professionals from Washington, D.C. to Missouri for a rally in Brown's honor on Saturday. She asked her social media followers to give to the #DCtoFerguson Bus campaign.

"This isn't about a photo op or an experience or a trip," Allen said. "This is to help them know that we stand against injustice everywhere, because this is not just Michael Brown, it's not just in Ferguson. It's happening all over America."

For Allen, giving money doesn't go far enough. She wants to be on the ground, to be there for the protestors who have been on the streets of Ferguson for nearly two weeks, and for the people who can give money but can't travel to Missouri to stand beside the demonstrators.

"I think history has shown that people being on the ground is crucial," she said. "You have to see that people are outraged. You have to feel that tension in the air. And that can't be felt with just giving money."

If Allen doesn't reach the $8,000 mark in time, she said the money will go to the general fund for Brown's family, which is being administered by their legal team.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mike from: Connecticut
August 26, 2014 6:22 PM
I donated. Best money I've spent this year.

by: Jax56 from: Colorado
August 25, 2014 3:42 AM
If anyone would bother to look at the video of Brown (and his "friend") robbing the store less than 15 minutes after he was shot they would be able to surmise that Brown was in full thug mode. Officer Wilson didn't "murder" this thug, he responded in accordance with the training every police officer in the US has drilled into them: stop the threat. When I was a police officer and if I was assaulted by a 300# thug, I can articulate my fear of bodily harm. You stop the threat. The "friend"/witness lied through his grill (and he has a record of lying to police). If Blacks want a legitimate protest, start with the gang violence in Chicago or the Black death rate of East St. Louis or Gary, Indiana, Detroit or New Orleans... and look inward at the cause.

by: Michael Maddox from: 9 Rio Bravo dr
August 24, 2014 5:54 PM
Where are all the black rich people?
I am disappointed!

by: megan from: Kansas
August 23, 2014 10:51 AM
Yep. And black americans are more likely to side with other black americans. Especially when it comes to white cops because of mistrust.

by: Phil Esteen from: Earth
August 22, 2014 5:32 PM
Simple explanation:
White Americans have more money than black Americans and white Americans, by a vast majority, support a white police officer over a black suspect.
In Response

by: Jax56 from: Colorado
August 25, 2014 3:46 AM
Joy calling Officer Wilson a "murderer" illustrates how small the Christ like part of her is. She should consider the overwhelming possibility he was being assaulted by a 300# thug, not a boy.
In Response

by: Joy Mcmann from: Michigan
August 23, 2014 11:28 AM
My prior comment was to Phil Esteen re: the financial donations, although the Christ like part of me dont think the Media should suggest it as supporting the person rather than its intentions of helping those in need, but the fleesh side of me hopes somehow in the end this young Victim's family would recv. Financialy more than the Murderer who is Still getting paid for killing this boy and who no doubt has no where near the financial hardships the Brown family has. If it werent for the age old fight for One paticular race to be and stay on top financially, socially and "power" the other races wouldnt have to continue to struggel financially... And IF that One particular race would put that same amount of their Focus into helping and making this a better place for all Then it would truely be equal and indeed based on the strengths, wisdom, etc. of Each Individual Persons. Not a majority riding on the skirt tales of others or Hiding behind! And my oppologies for forgeting to define the Majority of the races for We Should already know the good and bad in each race exists. But in my txting to finish B4 expired time erased me I ignorantly and innocently forgot to make note.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs