Ferguson Police Department Officer, and State Representative are Two Behind Donation Site for Darren Wilson
LA Times reports that two GoFundMe pages were setup to receive money for Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Darren Wilson was identified by the Ferguson Chief of Police as the officer who killed 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO on August 9, 2014.
The two separate pages were titled “Support Officer Darren Wilson” that raised $235,750, and “Support Officer Wilson” that raised $197,620.
Because of racially offensive remarks in the comment section of one of the pages, Gofundme removed them.
On Saturday, August 30, 2014, both donation pages stopped taking donations around the same time. The pages’ organizers did not explain why. Kelsea Little, a spokesperson for GoFundMe, stated that the pages were not shutdown by GoFundMe. A Facebook Page titled “Support Officer Wilson” posted that lawyers were working on a solution as to why the GoFundMe page was shut down. Thus, there is controversy about how and why the pages were taken down.
The LA Times did ferret out information that the donation page titled “Support Officer Wilson,” that raised $197,620, is run by a St. Louis police charity called “Shield of Hope.” GoFundMe validated the donation recipient. According to the state’s nonprofit records, Shield of Hope’s officers are Joseph Eagan, Timothy Zoll, and Jeffrey Roorda.
Timothy Zoll is the public information officer for the Ferguson Police Department. His participation in raising money for Darren Wilson can be seen as a strong conflict of interest. It also gives reason to believe why the store video was released to the public, but not any written reports for the killing of Michael Brown.
Joseph Eagan is a city council member for Florissant, a nearby city to Ferguson and one of the cities that provided police to Ferguson after Michael was killed.
Jeffrey Roorda is representative for District 113 in the Missouri House of Representatives. He is a member of the Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee for the Missouri House of Representatives. His participation in raising funds for Darren Wilson also demonstrates a strong conflict of interest, as he was elected to represent the people of his District, and not just police officers.
The other page, “Support Officer Darren Wilson” that raised $235,750, was opened by someone anonymously who uses the handle “Stand Up.” Little information has been given to donors about who is running the anonymous fundraising effort. Two weeks ago, a message was posted on the donation page stating that they were working with Shield of Hope to become a verified recipient, but that has not happened. That anonymous person could be $235,750 richer without any obligation to give the donations to Darren Wilson. GoFundMe’s spokesperson told the LA Times that the anonymously run donation page had also been removed from its search results, adding that
“this campaign no longer meets GoFundMe’s stated requirement of having a valid Facebook account connected.”
Michael Brown’s family also has a GoFundMe page, which is ran by attorney Benjamin Crump. As of Sunday afternoon, $314,099 was raised.
Posted on 08/31/2014, in Michael Brown - Ferguson and tagged Darren Wilson, donations, Facebook, Ferguson, GoFundMe, Jeffrey Roorda, Joseph Eagan, Michael Brown, Shield of Hope, Timothy Zolls. Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.