A crowdfunding campaign set up to support the police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, who fatally shot an unarmed black teen has raised nearly $150,000.
The Ferguson police chief last week named Darren Wilson, 28, as the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Days after Wilson’s name was released, the “Support Officer Darren Wilson” crowdfunding campaign was launched on the website GoFundMe.
“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,” the GoFundMe page explained.
The organizer of the campaign has insisted it is legitimate.
“We are working with Shield of Hope to get our site listed as a Certified Charity for Darren on GoFundMe. This will not only help ease the minds of those who may be skeptical but will help steer people away from the pages that are not legitimate. Thank you so much for your donations!” the organizer wrote in an update on the website.
Many people who donated to the campaign said Wilson was innocent until proven guilty.
“Innocent until proven guilty– we either follow the rule of law under our Constitution, or have anarchy. Be strong and courageous, Officer Wilson. We are praying for you,” one person said after donating $25.
“With All media backing Michael Brown. I donate to Wilson to Ensure this becomes a fair and just trail [sic],” said another person, who donated $10.
According to the GoFundMe page, more than 3,500 people have donated to the campaign.