Milwaukee prosecutors are conducting an internal review into their own office’s decision to make an “inappropriately low” bail recommendation for Darrell Brooks Jr., the person of interest in nearby Waukesha after an SUV plowed through a Christmas parade.
The horror left at least five people dead and 40 injured – including 18 children rushed to Children’s Wisconsin hospital in Milwaukee.
Brooks has multiple pending cases in Milwaukee County – including a 2020 case involving two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a spokesperson for Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm. Bail was originally set at $10,000 and later reduced to $7,500, the district attorney’s office said.
Mugshot: Waukesha PD (Waukesha PD)
But due to a court scheduling conflict that would have deprived Brooks of his right to a speedy trial his bail was again reduced, this time to just $500, which he posted on Feb. 21, 2021, according to prosecutors.
Darrell Brooks, person of interest in Waukesha, Wisconsin Christmas parade crash (Wisconsin Department of justice)
Earlier this month, Milwaukee authorities charged Brooks with another reckless endangering out, felony bail jumping, battery, obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct. He allegedly ran a woman over with what may have been the same SUV that wreaked havoc on the Christmas parade. He was released on $1,000 cash bail on Nov. 11.
“The State’s bail recommendation in this case was inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges and the pending charges against Mr. Brooks,” Chisholm’s office said Monday. “The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime, nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to setting of bail.”
The DA’s office said an internal review of the bail recommendation decision is underway.
In a recent case, a woman told police that Brooks charged into her hotel room, shouted profanity at her, and took her cellphone before driving away. He allegedly circled back later, found her walking to a nearby gas station and punched her after she refused to get into his car. When she started to walk away, he allegedly ran her over with his vehicle.
Police arrested Brooks at his home at 4:25 p.m. on Nov. 2, according to the criminal complaint, which also notes that he owned a maroon Ford Escape with license plate ADP 9256. He ran into the home in an alleged attempt to evade arrest after authorities ordered him to
The complaint also said the victim had blood on her face, a swollen lip and tire tracks on her pants.
Court records show that just days later a Milwaukee judge ordered him to stay away from two women in connection with the case – including one who he had already been told to avoid but was present at the time of his arrest.
On July 24, 2020, Brooks allegedly shot at his nephew, according to another criminal complaint, following a fight between the two a day prior.
Police arrived at Brooks’ home after receiving a ShotSpotter alert but said he had already left the area.
The nephew escaped injury, and Milwaukee police arrested Brooks the next day, court documents state.