'I am truly sorry,' DuPage Democrat says after tweets tying parade tragedy to Rittenhouse verdict

  • A woman lays flowers at a memorial in Waukesha, Wis., on Tuesday. She had a daughter who marched in the Christmas parade and witnessed an SUV plowing into it, killing six people and injuring scores more.

    A woman lays flowers at a memorial in Waukesha, Wis., on Tuesday. She had a daughter who marched in the Christmas parade and witnessed an SUV plowing into it, killing six people and injuring scores more. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/23/2021 6:03 PM

The former social media director for the Democratic Party of DuPage County apologized Tuesday for tweets she made after the Christmas parade tragedy in Wisconsin.

In one of the now-deleted tweets, Mary Lemanski said the crash that killed at least five people and injured more than 40 others in Waukesha was "karma" for the acquittal last week of Kyle Rittenhouse, the former Antioch teen who, he says in self-defense, shot and killed two people and injured another during protests in nearby Kenosha. She said in another tweet that the driver "probably felt threatened" because he lived in Wisconsin.

 

On Tuesday -- one day after resigning from her position with the Democratic Party of DuPage County -- Lemanski released a written statement in which she said she "was lashing out at a verdict and not thinking of the victims of the Waukesha incident at all."

"I made some comments that were interpreted to mean that I was talking about individuals. I was not," she wrote. "I realize how hateful and hurtful my comments were, and I am truly sorry for the division and suffering I have caused."

Lemanski said she is "ashamed" of her behavior.

"I hope the people of Waukesha will find healing and peace in the wake of this horrible event," she wrote.

Lemanski announced that she has resigned as the Democratic committeeman for Downers Grove Township Precinct 2. She was elected to the post last year.

On Monday, Ken Mejia-Beal, chairman of the DuPage Democratic Party, called Lemanski's comments "callous and reprehensible." He said the organization was cutting all ties with her.

DuPage County Republican Party Chairman Jim Zay said he was "shocked and outraged" that someone who worked for the local Democratic Party would make light of the tragedy.

"By trying to link one issue to this senseless loss of life during a Christmas parade shows how out of touch and single-issued some people can be," Zay said in a written statement. "To make outrageous statements when the police are still investigating why this tragedy happened and trying to fuel the fires of dissent is truly disgusting."

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