The community in Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in violence and riots after police officer Darren Wilson shot teenager Michael Brown. Now after weeks of his being the focus of anger, many are starting to rally to officer Wilson’s defense, some even donating money to his legal expenses. In fact, his legal aid fund has now surpassed $300,000.
Only days after the shooting occurred, people began to rally in support of officer Wilson. A week after the shooting, a small rally was hastily arranged in St. Louis at which more than 100 people gathered. The rally stemmed from a supportive Facebook page which had been started only the day before.
But it is the fundraising that has been more amazing, as people across the country have sent money to online funds pledging support for the officer’s expected legal expenses.
Several fundraising efforts for officer Wilson have been established. A GoFundME.com page was set up that raised over $230,000 in a matter of days.
A second GoFundMe donation page was started to supplement the first one, and it has thus far raised over $130,000 in only three days.
Shield of Hope was started in 2011 and currently counts as a member of its board of directors officer Timothy Zoll, the Ferguson Police Department’s Public Relations Officer.
A St. Louis area woman and organizer of the Darren Wilson rally said the person who started the initial GoFundMe page was shocked at how much money was raised in such a short period of time.
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told The New York Times that she and others were “working around the clock to clear the hate” in her community.
In a statement she delivered at a rally for officer Wilson, the woman said, “Our mission is to formally declare that we share the united belief that Officer Wilson’s actions on Aug. 9 were warranted and justified, and he has our unwavering support. We believe that the evidence has and will continue to validate our position.”
A grand jury has been empanelled to consider whether or not to charge officer Wilson for the shooting which occurred two weeks ago.
Already, though, many on the left are saying that the grand jury is somehow too white – even though it is representative of the racial breakdown of the county – that officer Wilson will be let off the hook, and that the slain Michael Brown will get no justice.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.