A support campaign for Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown six times, has managed to collect over a quarter million dollars in a few days.
The $235,010 have been generated courtesy online donations from 5,902 people and have come via GoFundMe, a crowdsourcing site. The controversial crowdfunding "Support Officer Darren Wilson" page was created on Aug. 17, and the generated proceeds will go Wilson and his family to "cover potential legal fees" and living expenses.
"We stand behind Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives," reads the page. "All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have including legal fees."
Several donors passed racist comments on the page while making donations, prompting GoFundMe to disable the comments as it was in violation of the site's terms.
"In regard to the 'Officer Darren Wilson' campaign, donors' comments posted in violation of GoFundMe's terms have been removed," tweeted the site.
While the initial campaign on GoFundMe has ended, the generated funds will be shifted to the second GoFundMe page "Officer Wilson Fundraiser" in support of the police officer. This campaign has been initiated by Shield of Hope a non-profit organization. The page has already generated $46,466 (at the time of writing) in a day from 1,070 pledgers.
Supporters of the Black teen Michael Brown also have created a page on GoFundMe. However, by contrast, the "Michael Brown Memorial Fund" page in support of the Brown family has managed to generate $190,410 (at the time of writing) thanks to contributions from 6,720 people in nine days.
The fundraising for Wilson has stirred a hornet's nest with several protestors demanding that GoFundMe pull down the campaign. The outrage has led to a #boycottGoFundMe campaign on Twitter.
"@gofundme you're still supporting a campaign that's a thin veil to support a murderer and many racists who support him. #BoycottGoFundMe," tweeted an activist.
A 12-person county grand jury has begun the hearing in the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Brown was shot six times on Aug. 9 by police officer Wilson, fueling protests and anger in the predominantly white-dominated Louis County. Many people want Wilson to be convicted for the killing, whereas other want to see more evidence.