Vigil held to honor victims of Waukesha Christmas parade incident

22November 2021

Mugshot of Darrell Brooks taken by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office on November 3, 2021.
Mugshot of Darrell Brooks taken by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office on November 3, 2021. (Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office)

The suspect in Sunday’s fatal parade incident in Waukesha, Wisconsin, had been released on $1,000 bail earlier this month, according to court records and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, which said in a statement released Monday that the bail had been set “inappropriately low.”

In a news conference Monday, authorities named Darrell Brooks, 39, as the suspect that drove an SUV into a parade, killing five people and injuring 48 others.

Brooks posted bail on Nov. 11 in relation to charges, including domestic abuse. That incident also involved Brooks being accused of using a car to cause an injury, according to a criminal complaint. 

On Nov. 2, according to the complaint, Brooks ran over a woman with his car while she was walking through a gas station parking lot.

“Officers observed tire tracks on her left pants leg,” the criminal complaint claims. 

Prosecutors filed five charges related to the incident: obstructing an officer; second-degree recklessly endangering safety, domestic abuse assessments; disorderly conduct, domestic abuse assessments; and misdemeanor battery, domestic abuse assessments.

Brooks was also charged with bail jumping, because he was already out on bail following a July 24, 2020, incident, according to court documents.

In a statement, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office now said that they should not have recommended such a low bail for Brooks and have launched an internal review into the decision.

“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,” the office said. “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.”

CNN reached out to Brooks’ attorney from the 2020 incident and the November 2021 incident about the district attorney’s office statement but has not yet received a response.

In the initial 2020 incident, Brooks was charged with: two counts of second-degree reckless endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon; and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

The charging complaint alleges that Brooks fired a handgun during an argument. Authorities said they found a stolen handgun during Brooks’ arrest and three “multi colored pills,” which later tested “presumptively positive” for methamphetamines.

Bail had initially been set at $10,000 in that case but because Brooks had asked for a speedy jury trial, which could not be met, bail was reduced to $500. Brooks was released on bail in that case on Feb. 21, according to the district attorney’s office.

Brooks’ initial court appearance for the Waukesha Christmas parade incident is scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET (4 p.m. local time).

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