Organizers have remained silent on why donation pages raising more than $400,000 for the police officer who killed an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., were shut down without explanation over the weekend.
A related Facebook page has been deleting comments from those who raise questions about the accountability of the donations.
On the crowdsourced fundraising site GoFundMe, “Support Officer Darren Wilson” and “Support Officer Wilson” — two separate pages with similar names — raised $235,750 and $197,620, respectively, for the Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9.
A similar page for Brown’s family, run by the family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, had raised $316,194 as of Monday afternoon.
The shooting prompted weeks of unrest and demonstrations against the overwhelmingly white police force in mostly black Ferguson, sending Wilson into hiding as local and federal investigations seek to determine whether he wrongfully killed Brown.
In a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, a spokeswoman for GoFundMe said the website had not halted the donations.
“Each and every GoFundMe campaign organizer is able to decide for themselves when they would like to stop accepting donations,” said the statement from GoFundMe spokeswoman Kelsea Little. “Organizers may also choose to begin accepting donations again at a later date.”
The page “Support Officer Wilson,” which raised $197,620, is run by a St. Louis police charity called “Shield of Hope,” which has been certified by GoFundMe as a valid donation recipient.
The online donation campaigns have generated some controversy for defending Wilson, especially after some visitors left racially offensive remarks in at least one of the comment sections, which have since been removed.
Both pages appear to have stopped taking donations around the same time on Saturday, and as of Monday afternoon, the pages’ organizers have not explained why. If a visitor attempts to donate, a message appears that says: “Donations are Complete! The organizer has stopped donations.”