The district attorney whose office let out Waukesha parade killer Darrell Brooks on a $1,000 bond three weeks ago previously admitted he knew his laxed bail policies would lead to killers being set free and murdering others, saying flippantly in a 2007 interview: ‘You bet, it’s guaranteed to happen.’
John Chisolm was elected as Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2007 and he immediately started advocating for lower cash bonds for criminals, like Brooks – a felon with a history of domestic violence charges who was most recently locked up for running over the mother of his children.
Milwaukee hasn’t ever abolished cash bond nor has the state, but prosecutors in the DA’s office advocate for lower amounts.
In 2007, Chisolm told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: ‘Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen.
‘It does not invalidate the overall approach.’
That’s exactly what happened on Sunday when Brooks, who was bonded out of a Milwaukee jail on November 11th, killed five adults at the parade in Waukesha, a town some 50 miles from his home, and injured dozens more, including children who remain in the hospital. He was fleeing a domestic disturbance when he plowed through the crowds.
Chisolm’s shamefaced office, which yesterday admitted they’d set an ‘inappropriately low’ bond amount for Brooks, has not commented on the resurfaced interview in light of Sunday’s atrocity.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm (right) is an enthusiastic bail reform advocate who previously suggested the state should replicate San Francisco’s bail reform to do away with cash bond on minor crimes
Darrell Brooks Jr is shown in his November 22 mugshot that was released on Tuesday morning. He has now been charged with five counts of murder
The victims from Sunday’s parade massacre are Dancing Grannies Virginia ‘Ginny’ Sorenson, 79; Leana ‘Lee’ Owen, 71; and Tamara Durand, 52; and 82-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, the husband of one of the Grannies.
There are also still children in the hospital, including Jessalyn Torres, who asked doctors to ‘glue her back together’ when she woke up.
She is in a steady condition now but her family is asking for donations to help pay for her care on a GoFundMe page.
It’s not the first time a criminal set free by Chisolm’s office has gone on to kill someone else.
In 2013, convicted drug dealer Jeremiah Schroeder, 35, was let out on a deferred prosecution and injected a fatal dose of heroin into Cassandra Lutz, a 26-year-old woman.
Schroeder was caught trying to move her dead body afterwards and was put back in prison.
The victim’s family said afterwards that they were ‘p****d’ that he’d been let out, and even the judge in the case said he regretted it.
After being elected on 2007, Chisolm made clear that he sought to send fewer Wisconsin residents to prison while maintaining public safety amid an unprecedented influx of crime in Milwaukee County.
To combat the crime wave, Chisolm enlisted the help of the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York-based nonprofit group that works with leaders in government and civil settings ‘to improve the services people rely on for safety and justice,’ according to the organization’s website.
Virginia Sorenson (left), 79, was a nurse and member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a group of elderly woman marching in the parade. Wilhelm Hospel (right), 82, the husband of one of the grannies, died from internal bleeding, according to his older brother
Jane Kulich was a Citizen Bank employee who was walking with a parade float before she was fatally struck . She is pictured with her husband
Tamara Durand (left), 52, and Leana ‘Lee’ Owen (right), 71, were two members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies who died in Sunday’s tragedy.
Its website explicitly says that Vera opposes cash bail.
Advocates say the measure unfairly penalizes the poorest, and results in disproportionate numbers of ethnic minority suspects in jails awaiting trial.
But opponents say the measure often results in career criminals being immediately released back onto the streets to commit more offenses, with the measure partially-blamed for NYC’s ongoing crime spike.
Chisolm’s office agreed to a $1,000 bond for Darrell Brooks on November 11th, despite him being held on charges including felony bail jumping and domestic violence.
He was let out and within a few days, was behind the wheel of his Ford again.
He plowed through crowds at the Christmas parade on Sunday night, killing five adults and injuring 48 people, including two children.
Brooks was unrepentant, ditched his car afterwards and even walked up to a Good Samaritan’s home, pretending to be homeless and asking for a sandwich.
He is now in custody on five murder charges.
In 2013, convicted drug dealer Jeremiah Schroeder was allowed out on a deferred prosecution. He was a known heroin dealer and the judge in the case said Milwaukee was going through a ‘heroin epidemic’ but he was allowed out and within a year, he killed 26-year-old Cassandra Lutz by injecting her with heroin at a concert. He then tried to hide her body
Chisolm is firmly opposed to cash bail. He previously said the county should replicate San Francisco in its approach to it, despite escalating crime
Chisolm congratulating San Francisco DA Chese Boudin after he abolished cash bail for all criminal cases
Darrell Brooks Jr, 39, killed five people and injured 48 on Sunday night by plowing through crowds at the Christmas parade while fleeing a domestic dispute. Brooks was unrepentant, ditched his car afterwards and even walked up to a Good Samaritan’s home, pretending to be homeless and asking for a sandwich. He is now in custody on five murder charges
On Monday, Chisolm’s office released this statement admitting the bail they had set for Brooks was ‘inappropriately low’
Homicide rates have seen a nearly hundred per cent increase between 2019 and 2020 in Milwaukee County, rocketing from 97 murders two years ago to 190 last year.
The families of the victims have not yet indicated whether they plan to file any form of legal action against the city or the state of Wisconsin for letting Brooks out of jail on such a low bond.
The judge who granted Brooks’ bail on November 11 is a former Assistant District Attorney, Michelle Havas. She has not commented on the decision yet
There is however growing public outrage over the decision.
Many on Tuesday morning laid the blame for the tragedy with Chisolm and the judge who granted the bail, Michelle A. Havas.
She has not yet commented.
Republicans were among those to condemn the killings on Sunday as the result of woke policies and bail reform.
Representative Scott Fitzgerald, who represents the district of Waukesha in Congress, said in an interview with Newsmax: ‘When you see kind of the rap sheet [and] the turnstile approach to justice, where these guys are in and out, in and out, in and out, it just goes back to a system that is broken.
‘Even though you know I’d love to deal with this at the federal level, it’s still a state-by-state issue because there’s such a diverse set of statutes, when you look at Wisconsin versus Illinois or Minnesota, and it reflects kind of the values there.’
Republicans were among those to condemn the low bond amounts set by the DA that led to Brooks being free
Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted: ‘Across the country, radical Leftists are releasing violent criminals from jail—with little or no bail—only to see them commit yet more violent crimes.
‘This horrific mass murder is the latest example. And it was fully preventable.’
Dana Loesch, former spokesperson for the NRA, said: ‘These people died because of bail reform!
‘These people died because of a corrupt DA.’
Former President Donald Trump said in a statement on Monday that the Waukesha disaster: ‘The whole world is watching the tragedy which just took place in Waukesha, Wisconsin, it is devastating, horrible, and very very sick!
‘My heart goes out to the people of this great, beautiful, and hardworking community. We must find the answers to this terrible crime, and stop these violent and depraved acts from happening again.
‘I am with you Waukesha, and always will be!’