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Wisconsin parade news – latest: Two Illinois cities boost security ahead of 134th Christmas procession

Follow the latest updates

Darrell Brooks appears in court following Wisconsin parade attack

At least two cities in Illinois have amended Christmas parades and enhanced security plans following the tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin, last weekend, with authorities informing the public to “expect to see more police barriers and city vehicles”.

The parades, which include the Santa Claus procession in Peoria on Friday, are popular events and allegedly the longest running Christmas parade in the US, having occurred 133 times before.

In Galesburg, Illinois, a second Christmas parade will similarly take place next weekend with enhanced security, and assurances from authorities of public safety.

It follows a fundraiser for 39-year-old Darrell Brooks being removed by GoFundMe after the page violated its terms by asking for donations totalling $5m (£3.7m) to free the accused from bail.

Mr Brooks, who police believe wanted to strike “as many people as possible” when he raced his car through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, was described in the fundraiser as a “friend”.

A criminal complaint filed on Tuesday has meanwhile accused Mr Brooks of having “no emotion” when he drove down the parade route, killing six people and wounding at least 47 others.

He was said to have fled from police responding to a call about a domestic dispute between him and another person hours earlier, and prosecutors plan to charge him with six counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

He is being held on $5m bail.

More than $1.5m has been raised to support victims of the attack and their families. The six people killed are: Tamara Durand, Jane Kulich, Wilhelm Hospel, Leanna Owen, Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson, and Jackson Sparks.

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ICYMI: Grandmother recalls horror of Waukesha attack

Tricia Tucker was attending the parade with her children, grandchildren, other friends and relatives on Sunday when the festive day turned to tragedy as a 39-year-old man with a long rap sheet allegedly plowed into the crowd. Sheila Flynn reports.

Grandmother recalls horror of Waukesha Christmas parade attack

Tricia Tucker tells Sheila Flynn, in Waukesha, how she instinctively pulled children to safety – before desperately trying to find her own daughter

Charlene Rodrigues24 November 2021 10:40

ICYMI: Father reveals how he pushed daughter out of harm’s way in the eleventh hour

Thomas Kluka Jr, who was at the parade with his wife and teenage daughter and a friend on Sunday, said he saw the SUV coming towards him when he yelled for his family to move.

Gino Spocchia reports.

Father reveals how he pushed daughter out of harm’s way at Waukesha parade

Father told reporters: ‘If I had to get hit, I had to get hit’

Charlene Rodrigues24 November 2021 11:01

Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team ask media to give them time and space as they try to heal

Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team has asked the media to respect their privacy by giving them time and space to process these tragic events.

In a Facebook post, Sandy Feller wrote on behalf of the group, “ We at Waukesha Xtreme Dance offer our gratitude for the tremendous support. Sunday was a traumatic nightmare for the children, their families, and our entire community.”

“Our dancers have a multitude of serious physical injuries. Of those, five dancers are currently in the ICU.”

Feller said the group is only beginning to understand the mental trauma.

“We need time to heal and understand. We ask that the media and those reaching out to please respect our privacy by giving us time and space to process these tragic events.”

Thanking everyone for their love and support, Feller asked people to keep praying for all the families impacted.

Feller also set up a GoFundme page for anyone wanting to help the victims.

Charlene Rodrigues24 November 2021 11:35

67 groups participated in the CWCC 2021 Christmas Parade Lineup

The City of Waukesha Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) has listed 67 other groups including the Dancing Grannies and Waukesha Xtreme Dance team in its 2021 Christmas Parade lineup.

Charlene Rodrigues24 November 2021 12:45

CWCC urges residents to return to the parade theme of ‘Comfort and Joy’

The City of Waukesha Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) is urging its residents to turn back to the parade theme of ‘Comfort and Joy.’

“Though it’s easy to turn towards anger, we encourage everyone to turn back to the parade theme of Comfort and Joy, and find it however possible,” a statement read on its website.

Expressing their condolences to victims as well as their friends and families, CWCC said, “We are so thankful for all the first responders who came to aid those in need and those in the community who assisted with first aid.”

“We also want to acknowledge and thank the downtown businesses that offered material support and shelter while the police cleared the scene for safety.”

Charlene Rodrigues24 November 2021 13:33

Wisconsin lawmakers push for bail reform after Waukesha attack

The deadly Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has sparked a fresh push for bail reform after it was revealed suspect Darrell Brooks was released on $1,000 bail just days before the attack.

Court records revealed Mr Brooks has a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 1999 and was charged with recklessly endangering the safety of others three times in less than two years. The most recent charges came on 5 November, when he allegedly tried to run over the mother of his child with his car.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office recommended a bail of $1,000, which he posted just two days before the parade.

Several Wisconsin lawmakers expressed outrage at the DA’s decision, saying a higher bail could have prevented the loss of life on Sunday.

State Rep Cindi Duchow, a Republican from the town of Delafield, on Tuesday reintroduced a constitutional amendment that would allow judges to consider the danger a defendant poses to the community when setting bail.

The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports:

Wisconsin lawmakers push for bail reform after deadly Waukesha parade

A new constitutional amendment would allow judges to consider the danger a defendant poses to the community when setting bail

Megan Sheets24 November 2021 14:45

Who are the Waukesha parade victims?

Six people have died in the wake of Sunday’s tragic parade crash. They are:

Tamara Durand - 52

Ms Durand was a member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies who worked as a hospice and critical care chaplain.

She is survived by her husband, nine children and four grandchildren.

Jane Kulich - 52

Ms Kulich was a mother, grandmother and server at Dave’s Family Restaurant in Waukesha.

She was marching on behalf of Citizens Bank when she was killed.

Wilhelm Hospel - 81

Mr Hospel was at the parade as a volunteer for the Dancing Grannies, as his wife is on the team.

He is survived by his wife, son and three brothers.

Leanna Owen - 71

Ms Owen was a manager at the Packard Glen Apartments as well as a member of the Dancing Grannies.

“This was one of her passions that she truly loved,” the property’s owner told CNN. “She was so proud to be part of this group and lit up when she talked about it.”

Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson - 79

Ms Sorenson was the leader of the Dancing Grannies and a retired nurse. She is survived by her husband.

“Everyone who knew Ginny knows she had a special soul, one that radiated with love,” family members wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Jackson Sparks - 8

Jackson died on Tuesday afternoon after he and his 12-year-old brother Tucker were critically injured in the crash.

Megan Sheets24 November 2021 15:24

Fundraisers for victims bring in more than $1.5m

More than two dozen fundraisers set up to support victims of the parade crash and their families have collected more than $1.5m in donations since the attack.

Below are links to some of the fundraisers:

The full list of GoFundMe campaigns surrounding the parade is available here.

Megan Sheets24 November 2021 16:03

NFL star JJ Watt to cover funeral costs: report

NFL star and Waukesha native JJ Watt has reportedly offered to cover the cost of funerals for victims of the Christmas parade crash.

The act of kindness was reported by journalist Cory Jennerjohn on Tuesday but has yet to be publicly confirmed by Mr Watt or his foundation.

Mr Watt, a defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals, reacted to the tragedy in a tweet on Sunday:

Megan Sheets24 November 2021 16:30

New details about crash emerge in criminal complaint

New details about the horror crash at Waukesha’s Christmas parade emerged in a criminal complaint filed against Darrell Brooks on Tuesday.

The complaint describes how Mr Brooks fled in his vehicle when officers arrived on a call about a domestic dispute near the parade route.

He then proceeded to ignore officers’ orders to stop and made his way toward the parade.

Once on the route, witnesses said Mr Brooks appeared to be swerving to avoid cars, not people, while traveling at a high speed.

The full complaint is available here.

Megan Sheets24 November 2021 17:00

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