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.
Victoria Macchi

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.

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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.

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