Senators: Groups exploiting Waukesha tragedy must cease and desist

OSHKOSH, Wis. – Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin issued a joint statement Saturday, demanding that individuals and groups stop exploiting the Waukesha parade tragedy for political gain.

“As the U.S. Senators representing Wisconsin, one from each political party, we are asking anyone considering such action to cease and desist,” the senators said.

The statement comes after a man drove an SUV into a crowd of paradegoers on November 21, killing six people and injuring at least 60 more.

The driver of the SUV is in police custody.

RELATED: Nine children remain in hospital, four in serious condition after Waukesha parade tragedy

The senators asked that local authorities be respected.

“We have full confidence in the local officials who responded with extraordinary professionalism, competence, integrity and compassion,” the senators said. “They should be afforded the respect and support they deserve to undertake their responsibilities without outside interference.”

The senators asked that anyone wishing to support the victims of the tragedy donate to the United for Waukesha Community Fund.

RELATED: How you can support victims of Waukesha parade tragedy

The fund was established by the Waukesha Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

You can read the full statement below:

OSHKOSH – On Saturday, U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) issued the following statement:

It has come to our attention that outside individuals or groups may attempt to exploit the tragedy that occurred last Sunday 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.

We have full confidence in the local officials who responded with extraordinary professionalism, competence, integrity and compassion. They have many difficult duties to perform in the coming days, weeks, and months, and they should be afforded the respect and support they deserve to undertake their responsibilities without outside interference.

Their top priority is to begin the healing process within Waukesha by providing comfort and support to surviving family members of the deceased, and those injured both in body and spirit. They must also conduct a thorough investigation and afford the accused full due process. These will not be easy tasks, and will be made even more difficult if conducted within a politically charged atmosphere.

We ask everyone to demonstrate their interest and concern by praying for the victims, their families, and the entire community of Waukesha. The Waukesha Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County have also established the “United for Waukesha Community Fund” for those who wish to provide financial support for the victims.