Darrell Brooks, the suspect in a Christmas parade crash in suburban Milwaukee that killed six people, was facing prior charges and was out on a $1,000 bail
The White House is reaffirming President Joe Biden‘s call to end cash bail following revelations that Waukesha suspect Darrell Brooks was out on $1,000 bail at the time he allegedly plowed through revelers at a Christmas parade.
Brooks is now being held after a judge set bail at $5 million following the Sunday incident, where he is accused of driving an SUV through the parade, resulting in six dead and dozens injured.
Local authorities are probing how Brooks was out on the much lower amount at the time of the incident, despite a history of flight and charges earlier this month that he allegedly tried to run over his ex-girlfriend at a gas station. The woman is also the mother of his child. He was charged Nov. 2 and posted $1,000 bail November 11th.
The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office is investigating, and calls the amount ‘inappropriate.’
Biden issued a sweeping statement on his website during the presidential campaign on ending cash bail.
‘Cash bail is the modern-day debtors’ prison. The cash bail system incarcerates people who are presumed innocent. And, it disproportionately harms low-income individuals. Biden will lead a national effort to end cash bail and reform our pretrial system by putting in place, instead, a system that is fair and does not inject further discrimination or bias into the process,’ his website said.
A White House official defended the policy on Wednesday.
According to a White House official, ‘Ending cash bail will not automatically put people charged with crimes on the streets. It just means that whether you get bail should be based on the threat you pose, and not how much money you have in your bank account.’
‘There shouldn’t be a separate criminal justice system for wealthy Americans. Ultimately though, this was a decision made by local courts,’ the official told DailyMail.com.
Passersby attend to injured people after a car plowed through a crowd at a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S., in this still image obtained from a November 21, 2021 social media video
President Joe Biden called for ending the system of cash bail during the presidential campaign
Waukesha County district attorney Susan Opper leaves court after Darrell Brooks (not pictured) appears at Waukesha County Court on November 23, 2021 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. ‘There’s a long history of flight, obstructing, bail-jumping type behavior,’ she said Tuesday
Lawmakers in New York State in 2019 enacted policies rolling back bail for numerous offenses, including most misdemeanors, sparking a political backlash.
In Congress, the No Money Bail Act of 2021, sponsored by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), has seven cosponsors.
It is not clear that Biden has taken forceful steps as president to try to end cash bail. The topic has sometimes split Democrats, with civil rights advocates arguing it punishes poor people who can’t afford to make bail by forcing them to remain in prison before being convicted of crimes. But law enforcement groups have cautioned against quickly releasing people charged with serious offenses, calling it a public risk.
Fox News reported on the White House position.
Brooks, an amateur rapper, has a rap sheet dating to 1999, including 15 arrests in Wisconsin.
A policy the White House released last month on gender equity called for boosting federal oversight to address gender bias and sexual misconduct.
‘And we will work to end cash bail and reform our pretrial system, recognizing the harm these processes cause, particularly for Black women and families,’ the document said.
At a Tuesday bail hearing for Brooks, Waukesha County district attorney Susan Opper cited a ‘long history of flight, obstructing, bail-jumping type behavior.’