Racists Hijack Miami Police Union's "Support Darren Wilson" Facebook Page

The Miami chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police has come out in support of Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, the cop who fatally shot Michael Brown and sparked the monthlong conflict in Missouri. There's nothing wrong, of course, with local police supporting their fellow officer.

Unfortunately, like so many other efforts connected to the case, the page that FOP President Javier Ortiz directed supporters to "like" on Facebook has turned into a mass of racist garbage and inaccurate stories about Brown.

It's not clear if Ortiz actually created the page "We Support Officer Darren Wilson" -- he didn't respond to Riptide's request for comment -- but he sent a link through Facebook earlier this week when the page had only 17 likes; it now has more than 12,000 likes since it was created Tuesday.

The Facebook page's description says that "while the media only focuses on controversy, we are focusing on supporting our law enforcement professionals that serve and protect the greater good."

Unfortunately, many of the links and many of the comments on the page veer quickly into race-baiting and Brown-bashing rather than Wilson-supporting territory.

The page creators have shared multiple articles favorable toward Wilson, such as ABC's "Ferguson Cop Has No Temper, Is 'Struggling' With Shooting, Friend Says" and "BREAKING REPORT: Officer Darren Wilson Suffered 'Orbital Blowout Fracture to Eye Socket' During Mike Brown Attack."

But many are completely false. Wilson didn't suffer an orbital bone fracture, CNN says, and another story -- which has received more than 100 shares and 300 likes -- is totally made up.

That article claims Dorian Johnson, Brown's friend who was present when he was shot, recanted his media statement and admitted that Brown did attack the officer. That so-called breaking report, which was shared on various media sites, brought on a lot of supportive comments for the police.

Ortiz also sent his followers to a GoFundMe page that was created earlier this week to support the officer. The page has already raised more than $150,000 from almost 4,000 donors -- but like the Miami police union's Facebook page, it's been beset with racist commenters.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sabrina Rodriguez