Efforts to finance the legal defense for Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, has hit some legal obstacles after raising more than $400,000.
One group that has been fundraising for the Ferguson cop is the Shield of Hope, the fundraising arm of the Fraternal Order of Police. The group has raised almost $200,000 using the site “GoFundMe” under the page name “Support Officer Wilson.” But their efforts were shot down because of a potential tax problem. Jeff Roorda, a Shield of Hope board member explains there’s nothing “sinister” going on.
“We just may have to make it a legal fund rather than a charitable fund, but it all depends on what the tax folks have to say.”
A separate page raised $235,000 for Wilson’s defense, but it too was taken down after receiving unwanted attention. Those funds will be coordinated with the Shield of Hope.
A third fund, being raised for Darren Wilson’s family and organized by the family’s lawyer, has raised more than $300,000.
Still many observers note that the combined total of more than $700,000 is far more than a normal citizen facing court would have available, giving Darren Wilson an unfair advantage in the court.
Jeff Roorda said while responding to that criticism,
“The job of a police officer is dangerous, the decisions that you make are going to be second guessed by the media, by the courts, in the court of public opinion… We are part of a brotherhood in law enforcement and we look out for one another and I don’t think anyone is going to apologize for that… I think everybody deserves to have the best legal defense they can, and we’re just seeing to it that that’s what officer Wilson has.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Darren Wilson has been gaining support despite the initial backlash in Ferguson. Some even staged a 60-person rally in St. Louis for the officer who has been in hiding since the Ferguson incident. Unfortunately, some of that support has become bitter. One rally attendant described the incident as “a good kill.”
The shooting in Ferguson has rocked the nation and exposed deep racial divisions. In a poll by the New York Times and CBS, 57 percent of African American respondents said that the Ferguson shooting was unjustified. Only 18 percent of white respondents agreed.
How the court of this public opinion and the media attention will affect Darren Wilson’s day in Ferguson’s court is still unclear.
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