December 2, 2021

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Wisconsin parade news – latest: Darrell Brooks fundraiser pulled from GoFundMe after ‘being set up by friend’ – The Independent

6 min read
Darrell Brooks appears in court following Wisconsin parade attack

A fundraiser for 39-year-old Darrell Brooks has reportedly been 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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Ambulance provider holds a prayer for victims of attack

A Wisconsin-based ambulance provider has asked residents and members of the community to hold a prayer Thursday evening at 4.39 pm – the same time that authorities say Darrell Brooks drove through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, injuring dozens and killing six people, last Sunday.

“Tomorrow, as we reflect on what we are thankful for and the blessings we have, at 4.39pm let us collectively take a moment to reflect and pray for those suffering in the wake of this tragedy,” Bell Ambulances said in a Facebook post.

The pre-Thanksgiving silence follows the identification of victims Jackson Sparks, 8; Jane Kulich, 52; Tamara Carlson, 52; Wilhelm Hospel, 81; Leanna Ownens 7, and Virginia Sorenson, 71.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 22:17


More than $400,000 raised for sixth victim

A fundraising page for the sixth victim of the Christmas parade tragedy has seen more than $400,000 (£300,000) in donations since his death was announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Alyssa, who writes that she is a niece of Aaron and Sheri Sparks, said her cousins Tucker (age 12) and Jackson (age 8) Sparks were hit in the attack on the parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday.

The death of Jackson was confirmed by the family on Tuesday.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 21:37


GoFundMe ‘friend’ banned from platform

A spokesperson for GoFundMe confirmed that a fundraiser for Darrell Brooks had broken its terms and conditions, and that it had been pulled.

James Norton, who claimed to be a friend of his, allegedly started the fundraiser, and as Law Enforcement Today reported, had a target of $5m (£3.7m) in aid of freeing him.

As Gino Spocchia writes, GoFundME told reporters that “Fundraisers with misuse are very rare, and we take all complaints very seriously,” and the person behind the Brooks fundraiser has been banned from the platform.

The page was last visible on Tuesday, screenshots on social media suggest.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 21:17


Reminder: Who was the sixth victim?

The sixth victim was named on a GoFundMe page as Jackson Sparks, aged eight, on Tuesday.

Both he and his brother Tucker, 12, were injured when the SUV driven by Brooks entered the parade route.

Jackson underwent brain surgery on Sunday evening but succumbed to his injuries and passed away on Tuesday afternoon, writes Oliver O’Connell.

Tucker, 12, and eight-year-old Jackson Sparks, were injured in the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 20:37


Reminder: Who is Darrell Brooks?

Darrell Brooks Jr, of Milwaukee, had been arrested on 5 November on charges of domestic abuse, resisting an officer, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping, before allegedly committing Sunday’s tragedy.

He has been convicted of several criminal offences since 1999, including one against a teenage girl in 2007. According to The New York Post, he reportedly told a judge he was not a monster and did not know she was underage, and later entered a plead deal.

Mr Brooks is also prolific on social media and raps under the name of MathBoi Fly. As Joe Sommerlad writes, a vehicle similar to the one involved in the Waukesha attack is visible in “Half a Tikket”, one of his music videos on YouTube.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 19:37


Three children released from hospital

The children’s hospital in Wisconsin which admitted 16 children after the Christmas parade tragedy has said three more patients were released ahead of this weekend’s Thanksgiving holiday.

As CNN reported, half of the remaining ten children are still in a critical condition, and another is in a serious condition.

It comes days after a sixth victim was confirmed by the hospital.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 19:17


No motive for Darrell Brooks, but intent could be proven

Police in Waukesha, Wisconsin, have still not revealed a motive for his actions last Sunday, when he broke through a road block and killed half a dozen people at an annual Christmas parade.

Paul Bucher, a former Waukesha County District Attorney, told reporters that despite that, it might be possible for prosecutors to prove that his actions were with intent, because Darrell Brooks “kept going and knowing what he had done to the first person and didn’t stop, then it was all intentional.”

As Politico reported, attorneys representing Mr Brooks – who has been charged with five counts of homicide, have asked for people not to judge the case before all facts are known.

“It’s essential that we not rush to judgment, and instead treat these proceedings and all those involved with dignity and respect,” Jeremy Perri and Anna Kees said.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 18:37


Reminder: What happened at the Christmas parade?

The Wisconsin city of Waukesha is still in shock after a car ploughed into a Christmas parade at high speed at 4.39pm on Sunday, killing at least six people and injuring 48 more.

The red Ford Escape SUV was captured on video driving straight towards marching cheerleaders and band members at around 40mph, hitting around 20 people and causing the crowd that had assembled to enjoy the 58th Annual Waukesha Holiday Parade to disperse in panic.

As Joe Sommerlad writes, witnesses on Sunday described the car as having accelerated along the parade route and “going from side to side, targeting people”.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 18:17


Brooks told judge in 2007 he was not a monster, report says

The 39-year-old man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more on Sunday in Wisconsin, allegedly told a judge in 2007 that he was not a monster after being charged for sexual assault.

According to court documents obtained by the New York Post, Darrell Brooks also asked the judge in that case to show leniency, because he had been diagnosed as bipolar and was manic depressive at the age of 12.

The revelation comes amid speculation around Mr Brook’s criminal record, and that he may claim he was mentally unwell when he is tried for driving an SUV through a Wisconsin Christmas parade.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 17:37


GoFundMe says ‘friend’ has been banned after Brooks fundraiser

A spokesperson for GoFundMe has confirmed that it “removed the fundraiser before any funds were raised because it violates GoFundMe Terms of Service.”

The platform added that the individual behind the Darrell Brooks fundraiser has also “been banned from using the GoFundMe platform for any future fundraisers,” in a statement to The Independent. “Fundraisers with misuse are very rare, and we take all complaints very seriously. Our team works with law enforcement to report issues and assists them in any investigations they deem necessary,” the spokesperson said.

It follows criticism of the platform for allowing the fundraiser to be set-up not long after Wisconsin police charged Mr Brooks with five counts of homicide for the Christmas parade deaths.

Gino Spocchia25 November 2021 17:02

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