A fundraiser for a Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager has vanished, the LATimes pointed out.
There had been two major GoFundMe pages raising money for Darren Wilson, who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown earlier this month. Combined, the fundraisers had pulled in almost $500,000. This weekend, seemingly out of nowhere, the campaigns stopped.
Matt Pearce, who covered the unrest following the shooting on the ground for more than a week, first noticed the shutdown.
A spokesperson for GoFundMe told Pearce that they didn't pull the campaign.
In a Facebook post, the Support Darren Wilson confirmed that their online fundraiser had ended but vowed to continue raising money for the St. Louis County cop.
According to the page's moderators, the decision to end the fundraiser was "made by those closest to Officer Darren Wilson looking out for his best interest." The group said that any donations that were already made would go directly to Wilson.
Earlier this month, a barrage of inflammatory remarks on the GoFundMe page forced organizers to shut off comments.
Wilson shot and killed Brown on August 9th, 2014. In the weeks following the shooting, protests erupted in Ferguson and across the country, many in support of Brown. The movement in support of Wilson has grown, however, with protesters staging rallies against media coverage and selling 'Support Darren Wilson' T-shirts.
Here's the Facebook group's full statement:
First off, we want to say again how much we appreciate ALL of the support for Officer Darren Wilson. This page and everything we have done, up until this point, would not have been possible if it hadn't been for everyone here.
Secondly, we understand your questions, concerns and frustrations with both GoFundMe accounts. Please note, NOBODY shut down the GoFundMe account because of any petitions floating around trying to close it and GoFundMe did not close them either. That decision was made by those closest to Officer Darren Wilson looking out for his best interest. We are doing our best daily to keep you updated (to the best of our ability) with all truths that come to us. That is our number one priority, to always be honest with our supporters.
Rest assured, if you donated to either GoFundMe it will go to Officer Darren Wilson. We are constantly trying to find the best ways to support Officer Darren Wilson as we know our supporters want to keep helping as best they can.
Bare with us as we are going through these changes. We will continue to be open and honest with our supporters. We will not do anything unless it is in the best interest of Officer Darren Wilson.
Thank you all, so much!
WE ARE DARREN WILSON!