A Tennessee man has raised enough money to erect a billboard in Ferguson, Missouri, that would read "#PantsUpDontLOOT," a reference to the heated protests that took place after the death of local teen Michael Brown, who was gunned down by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson earlier this year.
Don Alexander, of Brentwood, Tennessee, is the man behind the Indiegogo campaign raising money for the billboard. "Alexander said the crowd funds were helped in part by commenters from St. Louis Coptalk, an online forum for area police officers and supporters," according to CBS St. Louis.
Alexander did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The description of the campaign has been deleted from its Indiegogo page, but here's what it used to say, according to Gawker:
This crowdfunding campaign is for the purchase of a billboard in the Ferguson, MO area. The billboard will display black text on a white background with the text "#PantsUPDontLoot". After some initial confusion we are working with other, undisclosed companies in the area that are willing to create and display this image. The funds collected from this campaign will be used to purchase this billboard for as long as possible. Lamar originally quoted us ~$2,500 for 1 month but others have come in under that amount. Whatever funds we receive will go directly to keeping the billboard campaign up as long as possible. If we come to an agreement with a company and can fund it for 3 months, 5 months, 7 months..., we will.
The campaign launched Oct. 28 and has already surpassed its goal of $3,000, with money coming from almost 150 funders. It closes on Dec. 17.
#PantsUPDontLOOT is a play on chants used during demonstrations in Ferguson after the Aug. 9 shooting death of Brown, who was unarmed. Many protesters chanted "Hands up, don't shoot," referring to eyewitness accounts that said Brown had his hands up before he was killed in the encounter with Wilson.
There were instances of vandalism in the days after Brown's death, but members of the community also helped defend stores against looters. According to conservative news magazine National Review, one protester on Aug. 17 could be heard saying, "Pants up, don't loot" as the majority called out, "Hands up, don't shoot."
A grand jury is set to decide some time this month whether Wilson will be indicted for Brown's death, according to Reuters. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday, preparing for the possibility of violence after the decision is announced.