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So you may have heard that the fundraising efforts on behalf of the Ferguson officer who shot Michael Brown have so far, at $400,000+, outpaced any similar efforts for Brown's family or community. You may have also heard that the two main GoFundMe pages seem a bit hinky.
Two online fundraising pages that raised more than $400,000 for the police officer who killed an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., were shut down this weekend so tax lawyers could decide how best to handle the money, an official told the Los Angeles Times. [...]
The first page, “Support Officer Darren Wilson,” had raised the most concern because its creator was anonymous and had not received certified status from GoFundMe.
This is one of those "read the whole thing" stories, because there's just an unbelievable amount of Really Damn Sketchy going on. To sum up:
1. The founder of one of the GoFundMe efforts is either an anonymous teenage girl from somewhere near St. Louis, or is very much not that. Who's to say?
2. A Facebook site fundraising for the officer has not contented itself to merely fundraise, but also "exhorted followers to start a petition against the GoFundMe page run by the attorneys for Brown's family."
3. Even the "tax attorneys" for the most credible site can't figure out how to use the money yet. Is it tax deductible? Is it not?
4. The state representative publicly asserting that one of the major fundraising sites was operated by an anonymous teen, Rep. Jeffrey Roorda, is an ex-cop himself once fired for filing false statements (but no, that sort of thing is not really a career ender in law enforcement any more than it is in politics. If you're aren't sensing a trend yet in these things, there really is no hope for you.)
The Facebook page seems a particular piece of work:
In status updates over the weekend, the page’s operator had purported to know why the fundraising efforts had been halted but declined to share more information with supporters – some of whom saw their comments deleted after they raised questions about who was handling the money.
So hey, maybe the money will be going to pay Darren Wilson's as-of-yet-imaginary legal expenses, and maybe they'll go toward installing a Darren Wilson-inspired heated pool and sauna at some random guy's house. Time will tell.