Meet the 'progressive' prosecutor who gave Waukesha parade suspect Darrell Brooks 'inappropriately low' bail

Darrell Brooks’ bail was originally $10,000: Former Waukesha DA

Paul Bucher, former Waukesha County District Attorney, provides details about Darrell Brooks’ criminal history.

The horrific events in Waukesha – which left five dead and dozens injured – have prompted questions about how law enforcement might have failed to protect the Wisconsin town.  

In recent days, public attention has shifted to the fact that the suspect who plowed his SUV into a crowd gathered for a Christmas parade on Sunday, Darrell Brooks, was released from jail earlier this month on what Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm called an “inappropriately low” bail amount.

“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 in a statement.

A self-described “progressive,” Chisholm has championed left-leaning reforms and previously acknowledged that his proposals could result in a person being let go and committing murder. 

Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm.
(Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office)

“Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody?” he reportedly told the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal in 2007. “You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach.”

The paper reported in 2013 that his “prediction may now have come true” as a man, Jeremiah Schroeder, was charged with first-degree reckless homicide after leaving custody on a deferred prosecution agreement with Chisholm’s office. Bob Lutz, whose granddaughter had allegedly overdosed on heroin provided by Schroeder, said: “If (Schroeder) would have been in jail the way he should have been, this would not have happened.”

WAUKESHA, WI – NOVEMBER 22: Police clear debris left following a driver plowing into the Christmas parade on Main Street in downtown November 22, 2021 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Five people were left dead after a person driving an S.U.V. entered the parade route and proceeded to strike dozens of people.
(Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

Following Sunday’s parade, Chisholm’s office said it would conduct a review of the state’s bail recommendation for Brooks — which it claimed was inconsistent “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.”

“This office is currently conducting an internal review of the decision to make the recent bail recommendation in this matter in order to determine the appropriate next steps.”

Chairs are left abandoned after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on November 21, 2021. (REUTERS/Daniel Steinle)

Brooks was out on a $1,000 bond after running over the mother of his child earlier this month.

Republican State Rep. Cindy Duchow reportedly said she would reintroduce a constitutional amendment changing Wisconsin’s bail process. “He tried to run over his girlfriend with his car — that’s attempted murder,” she said. “If you’re a danger to society, you should have to work hard to get out.”

Chisholm’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

On his website, Chisholm’s bio touts his purportedly tough stance on crime. “As our District Attorney, John takes a tough stance on violent crime,” it reads.

“John has created specialized units targeting witness intimidation, child abuse, and gun-and-drug-related crime. John has hired twenty law enforcement officers to investigate threats against witnesses as well as crimes that cross municipal boundaries in Milwaukee County. John has created a nationally-acclaimed community prosecution program that stations experienced prosecutors in neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee County, where they work with residents, businesses, and nonprofits to combat crime at the ground level.”

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