Shortly after it was revealed that Shield of Hope, which is headed by state and city officials, as well as police officers from Ferguson, had joined the Ku Klux Klan and other proud white “not-racists” in raising blood money for Officer Darren Wilson, something strange happened: Donations were suddenly shut down.
The collections became so racist that GoFundMe was forced to remove numerous comments left by donors that violated the terms of service. “I support Officer Wilson and he did a great job removing an unnecessary thing from the public!” one donor wrote. Another added, “All self-respecting whites have a moral responsibility to support our growing number of martyrs to the failed experiment called diversity.” Yet another — and many more — left racially motivated comments on the site, including, “We appreciate your service in the animal control division of the Ferguson police department.”
In total, the two fund drives for Wilson raised more than $400,000 — and then it ended. Both sites, according to the LA Times, stopped taking donations at around the same time on Saturday with no explanation.
A spokeswoman for GoFundMe told the Times, “Each and every GoFundMe campaign organizer is able to decide for themselves when they would like to stop accepting donations. Organizers may also choose to begin accepting donations again at a later date.”
The Times was unable to reach Shield of Hope’s three officers, Joseph Eagan, Timothy Zoll, or Jeffrey Roorda. However, their association with the seemingly racially-motivated fundraiser is disconcerting. Zoll is a public information officer for the Ferguson Police Department, Eagan is a city councilman in nearby Florissant, and Roorda is a member of the Missouri House of Representatives.
The Times reports that it was also unable to reach the anonymous founder of the original fundraising page, “Support Darren Wilson,” but a GoFundMe spokeswoman vouched for the donor. The “Support Darren Wilson” page has been removed from GoFundMe’s search results. According to the spokeswoman, “this campaign no longer meets GoFundMe’s stated requirement of having a valid Facebook account connected.”
However, she said GoFundMe “has been in contact with the campaign organizer and has no reason to question their authenticity. Finally, GoFundMe does possess the ability to place a hold on all donations raised by any campaign that warrants further investigation.”
A Facebook page organizing fundraising efforts, according to the Times, told followers that lawyers were working on a solution as to why the fundraisers were shut down, but did not provide further information.