Christmas Parade Suspect Sparks Debate Over Bail

Wednesday - 24/11/2021 08:51
Darrell Brooks, accused of killing six when he drove an SUV through a Wisconsin Christmas parade, was charged with crimes earlier this month but released on $1,000 bail.
Photo: Mark Hoffman-POOL/Zuma Press
Photo: Mark Hoffman-POOL/Zuma Press

WAUKESHA, Wis.—Low bail that led to the release of the man accused of driving an SUV through a downtown Christmas parade and killing six people here is prompting debates among lawmakers over bail policies in the state.

The suspect, 39-year-old Darrell Brooks, has a history of arrests. As recently as Nov. 5 he was charged with disorderly conduct and recklessly endangering safety after punching the mother of his child, then running her over with a vehicle, according to a complaint.

After posting $1,000 cash bail on Nov. 11, Mr. Brooks was released, the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office said.

At a court hearing late Tuesday afternoon, a judge set bail at $5 million for Mr. Brooks, citing his criminal history and acceding to the amount sought by prosecutors. Prosecutors said his SUV had caused a sixth death, a child, and that they would seek an additional charge of first degree intentional homicide, on top of the five charges announced Monday.

“There’s a long history of flight, obstructing, bail-jumping type behavior,” said Waukesha County District Attorney Susan L. Opper, including incidents in Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia.

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