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Anne Arundel police union contributes to fund for Ferguson officer

By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun

9:13 PM EDT, August 21, 2014

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The officer involved in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., is getting support from the Anne Arundel County police union.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 70, the union that represents officers in Anne Arundel, has donated $1,070 to an online defense fund for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. That's the largest donation listed for the campaign on the website gofundme.com.

O'Brien Atkinson, an Anne Arundel County police officer and president of the lodge, said his members wanted to send money to help feed police officers working long shifts during the protests and unrest that have erupted since Wilson shot Brown on Aug. 9. But the national FOP suggested contributing to the legal defense fund instead.

Atkinson said the donation is intended to make sure Wilson has adequate legal representation as the shooting is investigated.

"It's not about anything more than making sure that our fellow officer has due process, which sometimes is hard to come by when you have a media stir and a lot of political attention," Atkinson said.

Stand Up, the individual or group that started the campaign this week, writes on the website that, "All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have, including legal fees."

Stand Up did not respond to requests Thursday for more information.

The Anne Arundel lodge wrote a message on the fundraising site: "MD FOP Lodge 70 supports our brothers and sisters in Missouri. Please support them and your local law enforcement officers!"

The drive had raised more than $155,000 from nearly 3,700 donations as of late Thursday.

pwood@baltsun.com

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