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The Right Is Using Waukesha As a Weapon Against Bail Reform

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The person of interest in the Christmas parade attack was released on a $1,000 bond two days earlier.
As victims of the horrific Waukesha Christmas parade attack lay in the hospital or were mourned by their families, some on the right turned their attention to what's become a familiar bogeyman: bail reform.

Darrell Brooks, the 39-year-old person of interest in the car attack, was released on a $1,000 bond in Milwaukee County Friday, just two days before a person driving a red SUV killed five people and injured more than 40. Brooks had been charged on Nov. 5 after a woman with whom he had a domestic disturbance told police that he ran her "over with his vehicle," resulting in her hospitalization, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


Brooks has a lengthy criminal history, with more than a dozen arrests going back to 1999, the Journal Sentinel reported. On Monday, the office of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Brooks' bail was set "inappropriately low" and "not consistent" with the DA's "approach toward matters involving violent crime," and pledged an internal review of the bail recommendation.

But although Chisholm's office quickly said Brooks' low bail was a mistake, conservative politicians and commentators immediately seized on the story as evidence that the broader push for bail reform is at fault for the tragedy.

In particular, they highlighted a 2018 tweet from Chisholm—who was first elected in 2006—promoting an assistant district attorney's quote on the office's effort to "not keeping individuals held unnecessarily on cash bail in the Milwaukee County Jail."

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board put out an op-ed charging that the "influence of the progressive bail campaign on Mr. Chisholm's office…
Paul Blest
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