FERGUSON, Mo. — As calm remained Friday on the streets where Michael Brown’s death brought angry protests, fundraising for the officer who killed the teen ended after more than $235,000 was collected.
A crowdfunding page created for Darren Wilson raised $235,010 from 5,902 people before organizers stopped accepting donations Friday after reaching their goal in four days.
“We stand behind Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives,” the page on the gofundme site said. “All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have including legal fees.”
On the streets of Ferguson, a collective anger that exploded into almost two weeks of protests and riots gave way to a more tranquil environment. On Friday morning, the town of 21,000 seemed to have some of its bustle back.
Traffic moved briskly along West Florissant Avenue, site of the protests that have unfolded here. Businesses opened and people patronized them. The police remained, but mostly keeping a low profile, sitting in patrol cars off the street.
City buses rolled along the busy corridor and commuters carrying shopping bags waited for them.
“It was another good night,” Missouri State Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said at a 1 a.m. briefing. “We’re heading toward a sense of peace for our community. Through 12:30 a.m., there were just seven arrests, including five for failing to disperse.”
Thursday night, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill strolled among the relatively sparse crowds while vendors hawked T-shirts. The Missouri Democrat expressed confidence that the violent protests that gripped this community of 21,000 for much of the past 11 days are over. “I think it’s time for a lot of the (media) to leave here,” she said.
After a night of relative calm Wednesday and into early Thursday morning Gov. Jay Nixon ordered National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from Ferguson. Johnson said he expected troops would begin leaving later Friday.
Earlier Thursday, along West Florissant Avenue, the scene of nightly demonstrations, there was a sense of normalcy. People strolled to stores and city buses were back on schedule.