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Milwaukee DA Refused To Prosecute Over 60 Percent Of Felony Cases Filed By Police

Milwaukee County, WI – The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office refused to prosecute more than 60 percent of the felony charges police forwarded for prosecution last year.

Prosecutors refused to pursue charges in more than 80 percent of misdemeanor filings in December of 2020 alone, Wisconsin Right Now reported.

These statistics stemmed from cases that were rejected after being filed, which means the total number of cases Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s office refused to file is even higher, according to Wisconsin Right Now.

The number of dropped cases, referred to as “no process” cases, was up approximately 10 percent overall in 2020 versus 2019.

Milwaukee Police Association (MPA) President Dale Bormann said the number of cases Chisholm’s office is refusing to prosecute has become “ridiculously high,” Wisconsin Right Now reported.

“It decreases the officers’ and detectives’ morale,” Bormann noted in April. “[When people] are not charged after doing a crime, they get out there and continue to do crime. It brings down the city as a whole.”

Fewer prosecutions have led to a sharp decrease in the Milwaukee County jail population, which has been an agenda item for Chisholm since the beginning, Wisconsin Right Now reported.

“There are a lot of people roaming the streets who should be in jail,” Bormann told Wisconsin Right now. “Liberals want a different justice system where no one’s going to jail…liberal prosecutors are not putting people in jail like they should. They are letting people out, and it’s very unfortunate for the person who is a victim of a crime.”

Chisholm’s office has also created a huge racial disparity when it comes to who is benefitting most from the refusal to prosecute, Wisconsin Right Now reported.

Cases involving white defendants are being dropped at a higher rate than cases involving black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American defendants, according to data released by the district attorney’s office.

The same data revealed the number of deferred prosecutions and diversions is also down, Wisconsin Right Now reported.

The district attorney’s practice of helping to release repeat violent offenders from jail was thrust into the spotlight on Monday as news spread that a career criminal accused of mowing down at least 53 people during a Christmas parade in Waukesha had recently been released on a low bond recommended by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.

Five people were killed and at least 48 more were injured in the attack, police confirmed Monday afternoon, according to The Post Millennial.

Some of the victims were children.

Chisholm released a statement Monday saying his office is currently conducting “an internal review” into why one of his prosecutors recommended a $1,000 cash bail for 39-year-old Darrell Brooks on other pending charges earlier this month.

Brooks was originally charged with felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety on July 27, 2020, the district attorney said.

On Nov. 5, he was charged with felony bail jumping, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, obstructing an officer, battery, and disorderly conduct in connection with a separate case.

“The State made a cash bail request in this case of $1,000, which was set by the court,” Chisolm wrote. “The defendant posted $1,000 cash bail on November 11, resulting in his release from custody.”

One of the recent cases involves allegations Brooks barged into a woman’s hotel room, stole her cell phone, and later punched her and ran her over with a vehicle when he saw her out walking to a nearby gas station, according to FOX News.

Another pending case involves allegations Brooks shot at his nephew.

The nephew was not hit by the gunfire, according to investigators.

Brooks, a rapper who goes by the name of “Mathboi Fly,” has racked up a slew of criminal offenses dating back to 1999, FOX News reported.

He’s currently a Tier 2 registered sex offender in Nevada.

Brooks’ first felony conviction in Wisconsin occurred in 1999, when he was convicted of taking part in an aggravated burglary, FOX News reported.

He was sentenced to three years on probation for that incident.

Brooks was convicted of a felony marijuana offense in 2002, and of obstructing an officer in both 2003 and 2005, according to FOX News.

He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor bail jumping and marijuana offenses in 2012, and to resisting arrest and felony marijuana offenses in 2013.

Brooks has been charged with five counts of intentional homicide in connection with the Christmas parade massacre, WBBM reported.

He faces a potential life sentence if convicted.

In his statement on Monday, Chisholm criticized his office’s low bond recommendation in the most recent pending Milwaukee County case.

“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,” he wrote. “The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent 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,” the district attorney added.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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