BLM activist said Waukesha parade attack linked to Rittenhouse verdict

‘It sounds like the revolution has started in Wisconsin’: Black Lives Matter activist says Waukesha Christmas parade horror that left five dead was linked to Rittenhouse verdict

  • BLM activist Vaun Mayes speculated that the Waukesha Christmas parade attack on Sunday was the ‘start of a revolution’
  • Suspect Darrell Brooks Jr, 39, drove a car into a crowd of parade goers in Wisconsin on Sunday, killing five people 
  • He said attack was linked to growing anger over acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse

A Black Lives Matter activist has claimed the Waukesha Christmas parade attack which killed five people was linked to the acquittal of teenager Kyle Rittenhouse.

Activist Vaun Mayes speculated that the attack which saw suspect Darrell Brooks Jr, 39, drive a car into a crowd of parade goers in Wisconsin on Sunday was the ‘start of a revolution’.

Mayes claimed that the horror that unfolded during the Christmas parade was linked to growing anger over the verdict in the Rittenhouse trial, which saw the teenager acquitted on charges stemming from killing two men and wounding another during the unrest that followed the shooting of a Black man by a white police officer.   

Activist Vaun Mayes speculated that the attack which saw suspect Darrell Brooks Jr, 39, drive a car into a crowd of parade goers in Wisconsin on Sunday was the ‘start of a revolution’

Video footage showing the moment a speeding red Ford Escape SUV ploughs into a marching band during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday

Speaking from the scene of the parade attack on Monday night, Mayes said in a Facebook Live: ‘I don’t know. Now we’ll have to wait and see because they do have somebody in custody. 

‘We may have to wait and see what they say about why this happened. But is sounds possible that the revolution has started in Wisconsin. It started with this Christmas parade.’

Mayes continued to speculate and said: ‘I said I wasn’t going to speak on no rumors. Y’all are repeating some of the stuff that, you know, that has come up. 

‘And I can tell you that the initial person who reached out to me said that they believe that this has to do with the verdict, and so I made an assumption of which side it would be from, but I don’t know.’

Police have not released information about what motivated Brooks’ attack during the Christmas parade, and Mayes did not provide any specific details when making the claims.  

Brooks posted on social media on Saturday – the day before the attack – that he was ‘not surprised’ by the Rittenhouse verdict but authorities have not yet indicated whether the teen’s acquittal in Kenosha, 50 miles away, has anything to do with the incident on Sunday.  

Detectives will not confirm whether it was a deliberate act of terror or if Brooks accidentally ran into the crowds after losing control of his car while fleeing a knife crime.  

Earlier on Monday, Brooks was charged with five counts of murder for the lives he took at the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday night. 

Brooks was charged with five counts of murder for the lives he took at the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday night

Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office admitted it was ‘inappropriate’ for Brooks to be allowed out of jail on a $1,000 bond three weeks ago after trying to run over his ex-girlfriend.

Brooks, 39, was taken into custody in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday night after police found his red Ford SUV parked neatly in a driveway five blocks from where he drove through crowds of kids and elderly dancing groups.

The amateur rapper has a long criminal history dating back to 1999 with more than 15 arrests in the state of Wisconsin alone for charges including possession of drugs, strangulation and suffocation, battery, illegally possessing firearms as a convicted felon and resisting arrest. 

On Sunday, he was fleeing the scene of a domestic dispute when he crashed into the crowds after smashing through safety barriers and breezing past cops. One officer tried to stop him by shooting at his car but he stopped because there  were too many people around for him to safely fire his weapon.

Police had just arrived at the home that Brooks had fled when he plowed into the parade crowds, killing five adults. 

The victims have been identified as Dancing Grannies Virginia Sorenson, 79, Leanna Owens, 71 and Tamara Durand, 52, Citizen Bank employee Jane Kulich, 52, and 82-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, the husband of one of the grannies. 

The Waukesha Police Department have now arrested Brooks on five murder charges. 

Milwaukee Dancing Granny Virginia Sorenson, 79, was one of the five adults killed by the driver when he plowed through the crowd on Sunday night

Jane Kulich (left) was a Citizen Bank employee who was walking with a parade float before she was fatally struck. Right, Betty Butula Streng, another Dancing Granny who was injured

On November 2, he was arrested on domestic violence charges after trying to ‘run over’ his ex, the mother of his child, at a gas station. His bond was set at $1,000 and he posted it on November 11th. 

On Monday morning, the Milwaukee County DA’s Office released a statement admitting it was ‘inappropriately low’ given his criminal history. They said they’d launched an internal review as to why he was able to get out on bond to commit more crimes.

The Christmas parade attack came two days after Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of murder charges after the court found he had been acting in self-defence when he killed two people and injured another during unrest over the shooting of a Black man by a white police officer. 

Rittenhouse said in a wide-ranging interview that aired Monday night he’s ‘not a racist person’ and supports the Black Lives Matter movement.

‘This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense,’ the 18-year-old told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview that aired Monday night. Rittenhouse is white, as were the men he shot.

Kyle Rittenhouse on Monday night accused Joe Biden of defamation, saying he acted with ‘malice’ and his lawyers were contemplating suing

Rittenhouse was 17 last year when he traveled 20 miles from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, which had been racked with protests in the wake of the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake. 

That shooting and the response in Kenosha – protests that turned destructive – became part of the national reckoning over police use of force against Black people following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis the previous May at the hands of police.

Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-style semiautomatic rifle, joined others who said they were intent on protecting private property from potential damage on August 25. 

During his trial, prosecutors argued that the teenager was a ‘wannabe soldier’ who went looking for trouble that night. Rittenhouse countered that he fired in self-defense after he was attacked and in fear for his life.

‘I thought they came to the correct verdict because it wasn’t Kyle Rittenhouse on trial in Wisconsin – it was the right to self defense on trial,’ Rittenhouse said in the interview. ‘And if I was convicted… no one would ever be privileged to defend their life against attackers.’

He said some people, including some who have made threats against him, are ‘too ignorant to look at the facts.’

The shootings quickly made Rittenhouse a rallying cry for supporters of Second Amendment rights and those angered by the sometimes violent protests seen in some American cities after Floyd’s death.

Rittenhouse was photographed in a bar before the trial with apparent members of the far-right Proud Boys. Rittenhouse’s attorneys have said he is not a white supremacist.

‘I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement, I support peacefully demonstrating,’ Rittenhouse told Carlson. He said, ‘I feel like my life has been extremely defamed,’ and hinted that he may be taking action, saying: ‘I have really good lawyers who are taking care of that right now.’

He lays some of the blame for the level of vitriol he has received during and after the trial on President Joe Biden who he accused of ‘defamation’ and ‘malice’ after the president labeled him a white supremacist last year. The teen also confirmed he was considering legal action.

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