You Can Buy a T-Shirt to Support the Officer Who Shot Michael Brown

Supporters have raised nearly $10,000 for Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer responsible for the Aug. 9 shooting.

Police officers stand in position as they watch demonstrators protest Michael Brown's death Aug. 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.
National Journal
Marina Koren
Aug. 18, 2014, 9:11 a.m.

The where­abouts of the of­ficer re­spons­ible for the shoot­ing death of an un­armed 18-year-old in Fer­guson are un­known. Dar­ren Wilson left his home in sub­urb­an Crest­wood, Mo., last week and hasn’t been back.

But just be­cause he’s gone doesn’t mean he doesn’t have help back home. Sup­port­ers of the of­ficer, who has been on the force for six years, have cre­ated a cam­paign on Go­fundme.com, a crowd­fund­ing web­site, in his name. They have also be­gun selling T-shirts for $18 on Tee­spring.com, which al­lows users to design ap­par­el.

The fun­drais­ing cam­paign was launched Sunday, just over a week after Wilson shot and killed Mi­chael Brown, whom Wilson had stopped for jay­walk­ing in the St. Louis sub­urb.

At the time of this writ­ing, the fun­drais­ing cam­paign had raised $9,745 from 286 dona­tions in just 18 hours, near­ing its goal of $10,000. “This page has been cre­ated to sup­port Of­ficer Dar­ren Wilson of the Fer­guson Po­lice De­part­ment,” the site reads. “We stand be­hind Of­ficer Dar­ren Wilson and his fam­ily dur­ing this try­ing time in their lives. All pro­ceeds will be sent dir­ectly to Dar­ren Wilson and his fam­ily for any fin­an­cial needs they may have in­clud­ing leg­al fees.”

The black T-shirts are em­blazoned on the front with a po­lice badge fea­tur­ing the of­ficer’s name, the date of the shoot­ing, and the phrase, “I stand by you.” The back reads “We’ve got your 6,” which is slang for “I’ve got your back” (in this phrase, dir­ec­tions cor­res­pond to hours on the clock; 12 o’clock is the front, and six is the back). So far, 435 shirts have been sold. “We ap­pre­ci­ate every­one’s sup­port and hope that you are able to wear this shirt with pride know­ing you are help­ing an of­ficer both fin­an­cially and by spread­ing our sup­port world­wide,” the Tee­spring.com page reads.

The cre­at­ors of both cam­paigns also have a Face­book page called “Sup­port Dar­ren Wilson,” which has 25,232 likes. (The group’s ad­min­is­trat­ors told Na­tion­al Journ­al they would pass a re­quest for com­ment along to the founder.) Sup­port­ers have col­lec­ted money in plastic con­tain­ers and car­ried signs in the streets in Fer­guson and St. Louis, ac­cord­ing to the page. At a re­cent rally in sup­port of Wilson, people lined up along the Chain of Rocks Bridge, which spans the Mis­sis­sippi River and con­nects Illinois and Mis­souri. Barney’s Sport, a pub in St. Louis, hos­ted a gath­er­ing for sup­port­ers Sunday night, and offered free wings.

This post has been up­dated.

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