Gawker is reporting that Ferguson, Mo., could soon be seeing a billboard that declares, “#PantsUpDontLoot.”
According to the report, a supporter of Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson has crowdsourced enough funding to pay for at least one such controversial billboard, to be erected in the city as it grapples with racial tension following the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Wilson.
The man reportedly behind the project, Don Alexander of Brentwood, Tenn., raised more than $3,000 on IndieGoGo for the billboard to be placed in the Ferguson area. The phrase—or hashtag—on the billboard, as Raw Story notes, is intended to mock the now well-known “Hands up, don’t shoot” chant that’s been employed by Ferguson protesters in reference to eyewitness accounts of the shooting that suggest Brown was surrendering to Wilson when he was killed.
“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 wrote on his IndieGoGo page, according to Raw Story, saying that the cost to keep the billboard up for a month was about $2,500.
He added, “We have to keep the exact billboard/company undisclosed because the companies we choose are being targeted with the intention of shutting us down and making it impossible for the project to move forward,” Raw Story reports.
Ferguson, and the nation, are currently waiting as a St. Louis County grand jury decides whether to indict Wilson on criminal charges for Brown’s killing. A decision is expected any day, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has activated the National Guard and declared a 30-day state of emergency in anticipation of any unlawful civil unrest following the announcement.