Weeks after suspending an online fundraising campaign for the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, supporters are still trying to figure out how to use the money without violating tax laws.
A GoFundMe for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson last accepted a donation 19 days ago. The “Support Officer Wilson” page, which is managed by the charity Shield of Hope, has raised more than $197,000 for the officer.
Jeffrey Roorda, a Missouri state representative who is helping with the fundraising efforts, told The Post on Friday that organizers are following the letter of the law.
“I don’t think [there’s] any hold up,” Roorda said. “We wanted to make sure we’re doing everything according to Hoyle.”
(Here’s what that expression means. Did you already know that? If so, please disregard this.)
Shield of Hope is the charitable arm of the Fraternal Order of Police union, which makes fundraising for Wilson more complicated. It’s unclear if the charity can raise money for the officer’s legal defense fund.
“We’re not going to stop helping raise money for officer Wilson’s legal defense,” Roorda said earlier this month. “It’s a benefit of membership … and officer Wilson is no different from any other member.”
Wilson shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on a suburban St. Louis street last month. The Aug. 9 incident was followed by protests in the area, and a grand jury is now considering the case.
Roorda said people continue to send checks in the mail, but that has mostly dropped off as the investigation stretches on.
Supporters of Wilson — who has spoken with investigators and testified before the grand jury, but has not been spotted in public since his name was linked to the shooting — have also sold merchandise to support the officer.