If you've been awake in the past two weeks, you likely know the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has set off a passionate response.
Scores of protesters have taken to the streets demanding justice. (Video via NBC)
SPEAKER: “What do we want?”
SPEAKER: “For who?"
GROUP: "Mike Brown."
But Ferguson isn’t the only place where emotions are running high. (Video via The New York Times)
They’re also at a fever pitch online, where supporters of both Michael Brown and Darren Wilson — the Ferguson police officer authorities say shot the unarmed teen — have created fundraising campaigns.
Crowdfunding site GoFundMe is home to the two most prominent crowdfunding campaigns related to the shooting. One is a memorial fund in honor of Michael Brown, the other a fundraiser for Darren Wilson. But the one that has raised the most money might surprise you.
That would be the page for Officer Darren Wilson, which had raised more than $230,000 from more than 5,000 donors before being transferred to a new campaign reportedly run through nonprofit organization Shield of Hope.
According to the page, all that money "will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have including legal fees.”
That despite Wilson not yet being charged with anything, although grand jury hearings are ongoing.
Comments now appear to have been removed from both pages, but according to The Washington Post, most of those donating in support of Wilson were doing so out of “support for law enforcement, religious conviction, or a belief that everyone should be ‘innocent until proven guilty.’”
Although, as Mother Jones reports, some left derogatory and racist comments along with their donations.
Which prompted GoFundMe to take action. It wrote on Twitter, “Donors' comments posted in violation of GoFundMe's terms have been removed."
Some have called out the racist comments on the site, but others have taken issue with the website hosting the campaign at all.
Pointing to the site’s terms and conditions, which prohibit “items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime,” they argue it’s a violation of the site’s own rules.
And others still have taken issue with the fact GoFundMe collects a 5 percent fee on all donations.
One Twitter user wrote, “The Darren Wilson @gofundme campaign is now up to $200K. @gofundme's 5% take is $10K. Blood money from the murder of a child. Disgraceful”
GoFundMe isn’t the only place supporters have backed Wilson, though. A “Support Darren Wilson” Facebook page currently has more than 50,000 likes.
Custom apparel site Teespring is selling shirts featuring a badge, Wilson’s name and the phrase “I stand by you,” with proceeds going to Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department.
Of course, on the other side of the coin there's Mike Brown’s GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $160,000. All of those funds will reportedly go to Brown’s family.
That along with a few smaller donation pages looking to raise money for better media coverage and scholarship funds for Brown’s siblings.
If you want to help out without choosing a side, you can do that too. This campaign on Fundly is taking donations to feed the children of Ferguson.
This video includes photos from Getty Images.
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