A Darren Wilson fundraiser has ended with more than $234,000 for the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown, creating controversy online and complaints that the money has turned into a bounty for killing a black teen.
The fundraiser, hosted on the site GoFundMe, was set up after a Facebook page supporting the Ferguson police officer grew quickly. The organizers of the Darren Wilson fundraiser claimed the money was meant to help the officer with any possible legal battles that could arise out of the shooting.
The site noted:
“As a group, ‘Support Darren Wilson’ is comprised of many people who want to give others the opportunity to support Officer Darren Wilson during this time. Some of us have never met Officer Darren Wilson while others are close family friends or even family themselves. The funds collected through GoFundMe and through TeeSpring along with our fundraisers on the ground will be going directly to Officer Darren Wilson through the non-profit Shield of Hope. We anticipate these funds will be used to cover potential legal fees, relocation and living expenses of both Officer Darren Wilson and his immediate family.
“We truly hope that everyone who has donated understands the transition. If not, please reach out to us. We do not want this to become a hindrance of the support Officer Darren Wilson is receiving.”
But many saw the fundraiser as something much darker. Many donors included comments praising Darren Wilson for shooting and killing a black teen. One comments implored people to “not let the savages win,” while another said that “self-respecting whites” have a duty to honor “martyrs” like Darren Wilson.
The racist comments grew so common that GoFundMe was forced to disable commenting on the site.
— jon hendren (@fart) August 21, 2014
But GoFundMe refused to stop the fundraiser itself, and it completed with a total of $234,910 for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.