Spurred on by a Tennessee resident who is concerned about the Ferguson protesters and their catchy chants, supporters of police officer Darren Wilson have donated more than enough money to post a billboard in the heart of the St. Louis suburb reading "#PantsUPDontLoot."
The phrase and hashtag, popularized by pearl-clutching National Review conservatives as a retort to the protesters' "Hands up, don't shoot" rallying cry, apparently seeks to redirect attention from alleged excessive police force to alleged "violence and mayhem" by demonstrators.
The idea to toss the phrase onto a billboard "in the heart of Florissant," where most of the Ferguson protests and police counter-actions have occurred, is being spearheaded by an IndieGoGo campaigner from Brentwood, Tennessee, named Don Alexander:
This crowdfunding campaign is for the purchase of a billboard in the Ferguson, MO area. The billboard will display black text on a white background with the text "#PantsUPDontLoot". After some initial confusion we are working with other, undisclosed companies in the area that are willing to create and display this image. The funds collected from this campaign will be used to purchase this billboard for as long as possible. Lamar originally quoted us ~$2,500 for 1 month but others have come in under that amount. Whatever funds we receive will go directly to keeping the billboard campaign up as long as possible. If we come to an agreement with a company and can fund it for 3 months, 5 months, 7 months..., we will.
Alexander initially sought $3,000 to get the billboard up; he was assisted by social media, including posters on St. Louis Coptalk, a commenting board for area police and their supporters.
"There is an effort to crowdfund a billboard in the Ferguson area against the rioting and looting with the hashtag #PantsUpDontLoot on it," one Coptalk commenter wrote on November 13. "It is coming down to the wire of getting it up before the Wilson announcement."
That same day, Alexander announced that the billboard had exceeded its goal, gathering $3,081 from 29 funders so far. Shortly after, one supporter commented: "we did it guys!"
Alexander hasn't run any other IndieGoGo campaigns, but ominously, records show he is tracking the progress of the "Ferguson Legal Defense Fund," a campaign supported by Talib Kweli that's attempting to raise money for bail for any demonstrators who get arrested on the city streets.
So far, that campaign has only reached 5 percent of its $25,000 goal.
[Photo credit: IndieGoGo]