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

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs