Details emerging about the suspect accused of running over people in the Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christmas parade on Sunday point to the "absolute" need for bail reform, Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, who represents the district in Congress, said on Newsmax Tuesday.
"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," the Wisconsin Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "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."
Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, of Milwaukee, is accused of driving an SUV into a Christmas parade in the suburban Milwaukee community, killing at least five people and injuring 48 others. He has two open criminal cases in Milwaukee County.
In one case, filed Nov. 5, he is charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, reckless endangering, disorderly conduct, bail jumping, and battery after a woman told police that he allegedly ran over her with his vehicle after a fight. Records show that a $1,000 cash bond was posted in that case on Friday, two days before the Waukesha parade.
In the other case, which was filed in July 2020, Brooks is charged with reckless endangering and illegal possession of a firearm.
Brooks has a long prior record, having been charged with crimes 16 times since 1999.
Fitzgerald said part of the problem with bonds is that the laws differ not only around the country but even among different counties.
"You know these high-profile cases happen from time to time, and it brings the focus back, and there need to be reforms," he said. "Absolute reforms."
Fitzgerald said he was in the state Senate for many years, and bail reform had been discussed for some time, but he claimed that Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, "has been an obstacle for many years in any type of reform."
"But now, guess what? We're going to ask for something so high that Darrell Brooks will never get out of jail again, right?" said Fitzgerald. "But the problem is, it's systemic. It goes across the board."
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