A crowdfunding site raising money for the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager, triggering days of protests and racial turmoil, has collected more than $165,000, outpacing a similar campaign for the slain youth's family.
account for Officer Darren Wilson went online Sunday. About 4,100 people had donated $165,011 by Thursday evening.
The Michael Brown fund, also on GoFundMe.com,
has raised $137,865 since Aug. 13 from more than 5,000 people.
"We stand behind Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives," the officer's site page reads. "All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have, including legal fees."
Brown family lawyer Benjamin Crump says on the crowdfunding site that all money raised will go directly to the family, not for legal fees.
"These funds will assist his family with costs that they will acquire as they seek justice on Michael’s behalf," he vows.
Some of the contributors to the Wilson fund described themselves as fellow law enforcement officers. Along with money, they have sent messages of support to Wilson and decried the actions of the federal government and the news media in response to the Aug. 9 shooting, the Los Angeles Times
"The rush to judgment on this man is un-American. We have both the president and the attorney general of the United States prejudging him and putting the weight of the entire government into the prosecution of Officer Wilson," wrote one man who identified himself as Michael Donovan. "He deserves his chance to tell his side of the story."
At a news conference Tuesday, President Barack Obama
said he was being "careful about not prejudging these events before investigations are completed because ... the [Department of Justice] works for me.
"When they're conducting an investigation, I've got to make sure that I don't look like I'm putting my thumb on the scales one way or the other."
The Justice Department is investigating whether Brown's civil rights were violated. Brown was black; Wilson is white.
Local authorities are investigating the killing itself. A St. Louis County grand jury
began hearing evidence on the case Wednesday.
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