Petition Asks GoFundMe to Return Profits from Fundraisers for Officer Darren Wilson


Officer Darren Wilson's second GoFundMe fundraising page. - VIA GOFUNDME

Supporters of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who sparked weeks of unrest after he shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown, have raised so much money to support him that they had to open a second online fundraiser.

On the fundraising website GoFundMe, supporters needed just seventeen days to raise more than $420,000 for the officer, portrayed as either a hero or a monster in many of the reports and conversations around the country about Ferguson.

But a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the voice of black America is calling out the popular fundraising site for profiting off Wilson's fundraisers, saying the site is financially exploiting racial intolerance and murder.

See also: 7 Peaceful Ways to Respond to Michael Brown's Death, Ferguson Unrest

Color of Change, founded after Hurricane Katrina to empower black people, has launched a petition demanding that GoFundMe return the profits it has made from campaigns for Wilson. The fundraising site automatically charges 7.9 percent and 30 cents per donation in the U.S. and Canada.

"GoFundMe should return any money it has made from Darren Wilson fundraising pages, and take them down immediately," the petition says. "Profiting off the killing of Michael Brown is not okay. Profiting off of racially-motivated donors is not okay."

Color of Change says it has 83,000 signatures so far and is aiming for 100,000.

On the petition, Color of Change says GoFundMe will be violating its own terms of service through the "financial exploitation of a crime" if Wilson is charged in relation to Brown's shooting.

Color of Change has had success with its petitions before. In January 2013, Oxygen Media opted not to air the reality show All My Babies' Mamas about the life of rapper Shawty Lo and the ten women who have birthed his eleven children after 45,000 people signed a Color of Change petition against the show.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at [email protected].

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