WAUKESHA, Wis. - Wisconsin’s U.S. senators are warning that outside groups are attempting to exploit the Waukesha Christmas parade attack. In a rare joint statement, Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Tammy Baldwin urged people to cease and desist.
The Democrat and Republican have teamed up, writing:
"It has come to our attention that outside individuals or groups may attempt to exploit the tragedy...in Waukesha for their own political purposes. As the U.S. Senators representing Wisconsin, one from each political party, we are asking anyone considering such action to cease and desist."
Memorial for parade attack victims at Waukesha's Veterans Park
The request has been echoed by local elected officials.
"But when we have these types of tragedies for people to try to make a political narrative out of that, that is it's reprehensible," said Paul Decker, chair of the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors. "It really is."
Senator Johnson on the Vicki McKenna show explained what lead to the joint statement.
Waukesha parade attack victims identified
"Officials in Waukesha were concerned about outside groups from both sides descending on Waukesha and causing trouble, so all I did was, I wrote a release," said Johnson. "Tammy Baldwin agreed to join in it, so it’s bipartisan, just telling people, please, let Waukesha heal. If you’re concerned about Waukesha, pray for the victims, donate to the community foundation but in no way, shape or form was I saying this is not a political issue. It is, and it needs to be understood for what it is and the motives of the killer need to be revealed."
The senators say they have full confidence in the local officials and "they should be afforded the respect and support they deserve to undertake their responsibilities without outside interference."
FOX6 News asked Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow if he feels like there’s any outside interference pressuring him to do something one way or the other.
Darrell Brooks Jr.
"No," said Farrow. "In fact, I think it’s just the opposite. We’ve got outside support. The influence from outside of the manipulation, I haven’t heard anything from it, so I’m going to continue to look at what we do and what we do well here in the county is come together and help each other."
"Here in Waukesha, the people are hurting, but the people are coming together as a community and helping those that have been hurt and the families that are in need," said Decker. "I've heard more stories of warmth and caring, of that concern than of conspiracy. People came together in a way that is, I think, more of what we are as humans than the innuendos that are being thrown around."
The driver accused of plowing through the Christmas parade is charged with killing six.
Senators Johnson and Baldwin are urging people to pray for the victims, families and the entire community of Waukesha, pointing out that the "United for Waukesha Community Fund" is accepting donations.