Ferguson, Mo. (CBS ST. LOUIS) — Online donations for the police officer who fatally shot Ferguson teenager Michael Brown have crossed $230,000 in just over four days, with thousands of people donating to his family and in anticipation of “legal fees.”
The GoFundMe page for Darren Wilson was started on Aug. 17 and has crossed over $230,000 with the goal of $250,000 likely to be reached relatively soon. According to the crowdfunding page, that sum of money was “raised by 5,376 people in 4 days.”
As of Thursday, the top goal of the same GoFundMe page was $150,000 and was easily matched by the middle of the day before the goal was raised to a quarter-of-a-million dollars.
The most recent Friday update lists over 24,000 Facebook and Twitter shares as the page has raised its top fundraising goal for a fourth time. On Thursday, the goal had already been raised three times.
“We have raised our goal for the third time! The generosity of everyone is truly amazing. We want to thank each and every one of you who are standing behind Darren during this time. The positive messages, prayers and donations are truly heartwarming. We cannot put into words how thankful we are,” reads the GoFundMe.
“This page has been created to support Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department,” continues Wilson’s support page description. “We stand behind Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives. All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have including legal fees.”
Wilson, who is on paid leave, has gathered tens of thousands of social media supporters in the wake of the fatal shooting of unarmed African-American teen in Ferguson on Aug. 9. T-shirts with the phrase “Officer Darren Wilson, I Stand By You” have also been sold on the website Teespring.com
But while Wilson’s online campaign has amassed support, the “Michael Brown Memorial Fund” on GoFundMe has also amassed $155,000 in the past eight days. Brown’s page has over 20,000 Facebook and Twitter shares.
Brown’s memorial page reads: “On behalf of the Brown family, we thank each of you for your outpouring of support. We ask that you continue to keep the Brown family uplifted in your prayers.”
Comments on Wilson’s page range from Bible verses to racially-tinged messages attached to the person’s submitted dollar amount. In the Friday update to the site, the inflammatory comments were addressed: “We have received a lot of emails through this site within the last 48 hours. We are attempting to respond to each email as quickly as possible. We also want to address all of the inappropriate comments submitted on our page. We will be refunding the donations from those who are not supporting Officer Darren Wilson. We hope all can understand.”