After a car tragically plowed into people at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, GoFundMe has got involved in a rather controversial way.
The incident took place on Sunday.
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Since the news broke, tributes have been pouring in for those who lost their lives at the Waukesha Christmas Parade.
The tragedy occurred at around 4.30pm on November 21.
At least 6 people were killed and more than forty injured when a car, allegedly a red SUV, plowed into the parade.
Waukesha Police Chief, Dan Thompson said in a press conference that a total of eleven adults and twelve children were taken to hospital.
They were taken to 6 different hospitals with ambulances, police officers and family members helping to transport them.
ABC News reported that Aurora Medical Center in Summit, Wisconsin, said in a statement that it was providing treatment for thirteen patients following the incident.
Of those thirteen, the medical center said that 3 patients were in a critical condition and 4 in a serious condition.
Children’s Wisconsin hospital in Milwaukee also received several patients from the incident.
In a statement, the hospital said it had received fifteen patients so far though officials have warned that the number of fatalities and injuries could change as additional information emerges.
Thompson revealed that an officer present at the parade fired at the vehicle in an attempt to stop it.
The parade is a yearly event held on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the BBC reports. It is said to include fancy dress, dancers, and marching bands.
Thompson said in the conference that the red SUV allegedly involved in the incident had been recovered by officers.
A person of interest, who has since been named as thirty-nine-year-old Darrell Brooks, was taken into custody.
The outlet was informed by 5 law enforcement officials that Brooks was detained and taken into custody on Sunday where he was questioned.
Brooks appeared in court yesterday where he was charged with 5 counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
Public schools in Waukesha closed on Monday.
Many businesses around the area also closed their doors, ABC News reports.
“When the area is open, the City is requesting that any items for a temporary memorial be placed at Veterans Park,” the city said in a statement.
Angelito Tenorio, a local resident, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper he had just finished marching in the parade when the incident took place.
“As we were walking back in between the buildings we saw an SUV cross over, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route,” he said. “And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle.”
Tenorio said the incident “all happened so fast.”
“And then, and then we saw people running away or stopping crying, and there, there are people on the ground who looked like they’d been hit by the vehicle,” he added.
Twelve-year-old Ashlee Coronado, who was at the parade with her mom, also spoke with the outlet and explained that she first thought it was “a part of the parade.”
“We were excited to see the truck with the fire and the hot air with it,” she said. “We always get excited for it because it is cold that that warms us. Then right then, a red (vehicle) drove past me and my cousins. He was going very fast and hit a gentleman. At first, I thought he was a part of the parade. And then I thought this is real. We were all screaming. We were not even two feet away.”
But, controversially, a GoFundMe page was set up in support of suspect Darrell Brooks.
As per the New York Post, the fundraiser stated: “I am seeking to raise the bail so Darrell can be released and speak his truth to his side of the story in this tragic situation that sees another black man behind bars in a purely political and racist trial.”
However, in a rare decision, GoFundMe has decided to remove the page, saying it was in violation of the platform’s terms of service.
GoFundMe does not allow “raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime.”