*Online fundraisers for embattled Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson have apparently stopped.
The Los Angeles Times reports that two major GoFundMe pages for Wilson that were recently established were stopped this weekend, seemingly without any explanation. The shutdown was first noted by Matt Pearce, a reporter for the Times who covered the fallout from the shooting for more than a week.
Despite the end of the online campaigns, a spokesman for GoFundMe told Pearce that they didn’t pull the campaign. The fundraisers generated almost $500,000 prior to shutting down.
News of the GoFundMe shutdowns, comes after a string of inflammatory remarks on the GoFundMe page forced organizers to shut off comments earlier this month.
Although news of the online fundraiser’s end was confirmed in a Facebook post by the Support Darren Wilson, the group vowed to continue raising money for Wilson. The decision to end the fundraiser was “made by those closest to Officer Darren Wilson looking out for his best interest,” according to the page’s moderators, which mentioned that any donations that were already made would go directly to St. Louis County cop.
The shutdown of the fundraisers is the latest development in the continuing saga involving Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown on August 9th, 2014.
Since the shooting, protests have been held in Ferguson and across the country, with many in support of Brown. In addition, the movement in support of Wilson has grown as rallies against media coverage have been held by protestors. Wilson supporters have also taken to selling ‘Support Darren Wilson’ T-shirts.
The following is the full statement from the Support Darren Wilson Facebook group:
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!