MADISON — Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said he wasn’t going to make excuses for why his office recommended a measly $1,000 bail for the career criminal accused in the Waukesha parade massacre. Then Chisholm proceeded to make a litany of excuses.
That’s the kind of weasel this highly partisan “progressive” DA is, has long been.
The day after Darrell E. Brooks allegedly mowed down scores of human beings at the Nov. 21 Christmas parade, Chisholm fired off a (CYA) press release acknowledging that the bail recommendation was “inappropriately low.” He said his office would be conducting an internal investigation.
Apparently that investigation is over. On Thursday, Chisholm told a Milwaukee County Board committee that his “young” assistant DA had made a “mistake.” She did not have access to the updated public safety assessment. Without it, the young — again emphasis on young — prosecutor had no way of knowing that Brooks might be the kind of guy who could kill six people and injure dozens more with his red SUV. So she simply doubled the $500 bail Brooks had posted last winter after being charged with another violent crime.
Turns out, according to the charges, Brooks was indeed the kind of guy who could hurt people with his SUV — because he had done exactly that three weeks before the Waukesha rampage. Brooks had been arrested on charges of running over his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his child, with the same rad SUV he is alleged to have driven into the parade.
But how could Chisholm’s young prosecutor know? Well, she could do what every news outlet covering the story did: Check what is commonly referred to as CCAP, Wisconsin’s online court records database. There, the poor young prosecutor would have learned about Brooks’ long and violent rap sheet, including his habitual bail jumping.
But human error was bound to happen in a district attorney’s office that’s overworked and overwhelmed, Chisholm insisted. The DA wants everyone to know he takes full responsibility for the missteps that happen in his office, but he also wants everyone to know that this tragedy is really the fault of those evil Republicans in the Legislature who refuse to cough up more money for more prosecutors. Of course, he would have used those assistant DAs to push the kinds of “progressive justice” he’s been practicing in Milwaukee County for nearly a decade and a half. The kind of justice where prosecutors cut deals in the name of “social justice” so violent repeat offenders can quickly resume their lives of crime. No wonder poor young prosecutors feel so overwhelmed.
Of course, Chisholm has long complained about how overworked and underfunded his agency is. The Democrat’s office apparently had enough resources and manpower to harass and intimidate his political enemies — particularly former Republican Gov. Scott Walker (previously Milwaukee County Executive) and his conservative allies — for years. His costly and abusive John Doe investigations were ultimately ruled unconstitutional and described as “Wisconsin’s shame.” How many of those prosecutors could have been employed in prosecuting the violent criminals that have made Milwaukee one of the most dangerous places in the nation?
But, but …
Chisholm has had a lot of buts for a guy who told Milwaukee County Board members “that there are explanations for what happened, but there are no excuses.”
Still, he said he can’t help but feel a little responsible for Waukesha’s unimaginable pain and suffering.
“There isn’t a prosecutor in this country that sees a circumstance like this and doesn’t say that this is like their deepest fear,” he said.
But Chisholm saw it coming a long time ago. In fact, he predicted it would happen.
“Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into [a] treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody?” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2007, the year he was first elected district attorney.“You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach.”
John Chisholm has no excuse. If he had any shame he would resign.
He is a tool, and a dangerous one at that.
John Chisholm is Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.