Report: Milwaukee DA flat out refused to prosecute more than 60 percent of felony cases filed by the police

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MILWAUKEE COUNTY, WI – According to an investigative report by Wisconsin Right Now, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has a significant history of failing to charge many felony and misdemeanor cases brought before him.

Chisholm has recently fallen under scrutiny for what his office admits was an “inappropriately low” bond for suspect Darrell Brooks, who is accused of killing six people and injuring dozens of others after allegedly plowing a vehicle into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, WI, on Sunday, November 21.

Brooks was out on $1000 cash bail at the time of the massacre, having recently been arrested for punching the mother of his child and attempting to run over her with his vehicle.

Those particular crimes represent a small portion of Brooks’ extensive criminal history.  As we previously reported, his rap sheet dates back to 1999 and includes reckless endangerment, being a felon in possession of a firearm, aggravated battery, obstructing an officer, felony marijuana charges, bail jumping, felony strangulation charges, and resisting arrest.

According to the New York Post, the Milwaukee County DA’s office issued a statement that read:

“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.”

But was it really “not consistent” in terms of the approach to violent crime?

In an investigative piece, Wisconsin Right Now journalists Jim Piwowarczyk and Jessica McBride reviewed cases referred to the Milwaukee County DA’s office during 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 and found that John Chisolm’s office appeared to be pretty soft on crime.

The authors noted that in 2020, Chisolm’s office refused to prosecute “6 in 10 of every felony charge requested by police.”

In addition, in December 2020 alone, “the office refused to prosecute more than 8 in 10 misdemeanor cases requested by cops.” 

Piwowarczyk and McBride add:

“These are cases rejected after filing, which makes the total number of cases prosecuted even lower.”

Their research showed that all in all, in 2020, dropped, or “no process,” cases increased by 10%, over 2019.  

According to Piwowarczyk and McBride, “Chisholm claimed he wanted to prioritize violent crime.”

And yet, additional statistics show that in 2021, police referred more firearms cases to the DA, but Chisholm’s office charged fewer of them.  The authors’ figures show 561 gun referrals in the first few months of 2021, representing an 8% increase over 2020.  However, during that same time period, there were only 263 gun charges, representing a 5.73% decrease over 2020.

The authors also point out that police referrals of violent crimes decreased in 2021, but Chisholm’s office decreased charges even more. Felony referrals in the first few months of 2021 were down 11.97 percent, but charges were decreased by 23.29%.

Piwowarczyk and McBride also found a striking racial disparity in the prosecution of crimes, pointing out that charges against whites were dropped at higher rates than charges for those of other races.

They also noted:

“In terms of aggregate numbers, the DA’s office charged more blacks in 2020 than all other races combined.”

The authors contacted Milwaukee Police Association President Dale Bormann, Jr. about these facts and figures.

Bormann referred to the non-prosecution numbers as “ridiculously high,” and also “said the skyrocketing non-prosecution percentages are bad for morale and community safety.”

Bormann added that the morale of police officers and detectives also decreased as a result, and cited a cause-and-effect relationship with the non-prosecution, saying:

“When people ‘are not charged after doing a crime, they get out there and continue to do crime.’”

He continued:

“It brings down the city as a whole.”

Bormann also told Piwowarczyk and McBride that he believed that DA John Chisholm “doesn’t want to be seen as the person putting people in jail.”

Bormann added that many police officers believe that Chisholm’s office will not take difficult cases and “a lot of people (in the DA’s office) are afraid of charging people… as a result, there are a lot of people roaming the streets who should be in jail.”

Bormann continued by speculating that liberalism is to blame, saying “liberals want a different justice system out there where no one’s going to jail.”

Piwowarczyk and McBride reached out to Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm for an explanation for these non-prosecution numbers, but Chisholm’s office declined to comment.

A previous comment, however, has come back to haunt soft-on-crime Chisholm.

According to the New York Post, Chisholm, a vocal proponent of cash bail system reform “because it criminalizes poverty,” said in 2007:

“Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody?

“You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach.”

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Days after explaining Rittenhouse ban and “criminal” policy, GoFundMe allows fundraiser for suspect in parade massacre

Originally published November 23, 2021

This is a developing story.  As of November 23, this fundraiser is still live on GoFundMe’s platform.

KENOSHA, WI – Just last week, GoFundMe went public to explain why they banned fundraisers for Kyle Rittenhouse from their platform:

“GoFundMe’s Terms of Service prohibit raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime. In light of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, we want to clarify when and why we removed certain fundraisers in the past.”

So why is it that as of Tuesday night, a fundraiser is being allowed for the suspect in the Christmas parade massacre?

https://www.gofundme.com/f/bail-fund-for-darrell-brooks-jr?qid=0ddd1a72d7a5815a88deb54eb205a382&fbclid=IwAR3CtBuQVdIqB5-goGb9H4iyOaR6RujN7fDJW5ySXj6ToyNsREy4rLN89ak

The $5 million dollar goal for the campaign was reportedly set by James Norton, who wrote:

Hello everyone,
 
On November 21st, 2021 our dear friend Darrell Brooks was arrested for allegedly driving his car into a parade, as someone who knows Darrell personally I can tell you that he would NEVER do such a thing and I know he is innocent of what he was charged with. Clearly there is more to the story the media is not telling us and I am seeking to raise the bail so Darrell can be released and speak his truth to his side of the story in this tragic situation that sees another black man behind bars in a purely political and racist trial.
 
There is no excuse for this continued treatment of black Americans by prosecutors around the country, everyone must be presumed innocent until proven guilty and we ask that he be treated equally as anyone else in this country would be treated and he should be released until found guilty.
 
#BLM
#IStandWithDarrell
#NoJusticeNoPeace
#RacismIsReal

Police say 39-year-old Darrell E. Brooks Jr. was arrested after he rammed his vehicle into a Christmas parade on the evening of November 21st, killing at least six people and injuring 40 others.

Brooks reportedly has an extensive rap sheet dating all the way back to 1999, and he recently posted bail on reckless endangerment charges.

He has been found to have multiple social media posts promoting anti-white racism, slamming the police and Trump, promoting Black Lives Matter and denouncing Kyle Rittenhouse.

Brooks is being questioned in connection with the incident involving a red Ford Escape that plowed through barricades and into the crowd at the Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, sparking panic and unleashing mass bloodshed. 

Public records show Brooks has a significant criminal history in Wisconsin that spans well over two decades.

Just this past Friday, November 19th, he posted a cash bond in connection with charges including resisting or obstructing an officer, bail jumping, recklessly endangering safety with domestic-abuse assessments, disorderly conduct with a domestic-abuse assessment, and battery.

On Monday, November 22nd, the Milwaukee County District Attorney said that Brooks should never have been released on such an “inappropriately low” $1,000 cash bond given his past charges. 

In the most recent case, dating from an incident on November 5th, the complainant told police that Brooks had deliberately tried to run her over with his car. He of course, pleaded not guilty to those charges. The DA added that investigators are conducting an internal review of the bail recommendation in that case.

In July 2020, police charged Brooks with three other felonies, including reckless endangerment and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is also listed as a Tier 2 registered sex offender in Nevada. 

Fox News reported that a background check from Wisconsin’s Department of Justice came back with over 50 pages of charges against Brooks, stretching back to the late 1990s. In 1999 he received his first felony conviction for taking part in an aggravated battery, for which he received three years of probation.

He was convicted of obstructing an officer in 2003 and 2005. In 2002, he had another felony marijuana charge. In 2010, he pleaded no contest to felony strangulation charges after allegedly attacking a woman during an argument about phone calls.

In 2012, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor bail jumping and marijuana charges. A year earlier, in 2011, he pleaded guilty to felony marijuana charges and resisting arrest.

According to court documents, Brooks also appeared to have used the pseudonym “Math Boi Fly” in music videos and is also associated with the aliases Darrell Eugene Brooks and Quinton Feilcein.

Brooks appears to have used a number of other stage names throughout the course of his aspiring rap career, including “Jay Fly,” “Math Bio,” and “B.L.A.$.” A reverbnation page linked to Brooks via email and Twitter accounts describes him as “the next breakout artist from the Midwest” who’s “finally ready to put Milwaukee back on the map.”

Reportedly, one of Brooks’ videos, which has since been removed from YouTube, showed a red Ford SUV that resembles the one seen plowing into the crowd at the Christmas parade on Main Street in Waukesha. 

Witnesses described the chaos of blood and bodies thrown into the air and strewn about the street before bystanders rushed to try and help victims as paramedics raced to the scene. Since the incident, local authorities have set up a temporary memorial for the victims at Veterans Park, located just west of the scene.

Former President Donald Trump released a statement about the Waukesha tragedy, calling it “devastating, horrible and very very sick. He added:

“My heart goes out to the people of this great, beautiful, and hardworking community. We must find answers to this terrible crime, and stop these violent and depraved acts from happening again. I am with you Waukesha and always will be!”

Now back to the crowdfunding hypocrisy.

GoFundMe removed online fundraisers aimed at assisting Kyle Rittenhouse with legal expenses during his trial while permitting fundraising for the legal defense of Black Lives Matter activists and a convicted robber serving decades in prison.

The crowdsourced fundraising service sought to justify its early decision last year to terminate campaigns for Kyle Rittenhouse in a statement after the teen shooter was acquitted of all charges Friday:

“Once charges for a violent crime were brought against Kyle Rittenhouse in 2020, GoFundMe removed fundraisers that were started for the defendant’s legal defense.

We did this as part of our regular monitoring efforts; in addition to those fundraisers, our Trust & Safety team removed hundreds of other fundraisers between August and December 2020 — unrelated to Rittenhouse — that we determined were in violation of this long-standing policy.”

GoFundMe said the funds could not be collected for Rittenhouse because he was not yet been acquitted of all charges in the shooting death of two men and wounding of a third during a violent, anti-police uprising in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.

“If someone is acquitted of those charges, as Rittenhouse was today, a fundraiser started subsequently for their legal defense and other expenses would not violate this policy.

“A fundraiser to pay lawyers, cover legal expenses or to help with ongoing living expenses for a person acquitted of those charges could remain active as long as we determine it is not in violation of any of our other terms and, for example, the purpose is clearly stated, and the correct beneficiary is added to the fundraiser.”

The site went on to claim that it continuously monitors the site for fundraising that violates its terms of service and removes any account that violates those terms.

They also admit that fundraisers that receive widespread attention receive added monitoring to ensure the intended recipient will receive the funds and that the collection does not violate the terms of service.

Remarkably, the same level of “monitoring” is not being done in some circumstances.

For example, despite claiming “GoFundMe’s Terms of Service prohibit raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime,” the site continues to permit funds to be crowdsourced for Dominique Maxey, an alleged bank robber.

The fundraiser, titled “CHARGED WITH BANK ROBBERY DURING GEORGE FLOYD RIOT,” is being organized by Maxey to help pay his defense attorney. Maxey wrote:

“I Created this GoFundMe to Help me get a Federal Defense Attorney. My public defender stated during my court case that I have a mental illness due to some misinformation he received. 

I have stated on my behalf I’m Dominique Malik Maxey beneficiary of the trust and I wish to represent myself. But I’m unable to represent myself until I prove to the court that I am competent enough to do so.

 “In the meantime, I need a(n) attorney that is fully devoted to me, my innocence and my freedom. So that he/ she can provide support, and legal advice to ensure that my record remains clean and that I don’t spend one day in jail or in a psych ward.”

The campaign has raised $140 toward a goal of $40,000.

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

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Another fundraiser on the site is being collected for Tia Pugh, a woman who was arrested during protests in Mobile, Alabama on May 31, 2020, just days after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In Mobile, thousands of peaceful protesters gathered on that date to protest police brutality. It also drew Pugh and others who went further, pushing against the police line separating the marchers from the on-ramp of Interstate 10.

Pugh swung a metal baseball bat, breaking the window of the police vehicle. Video of the incident became a key piece of evidence at Pugh’s trial, where a jury in May unanimously found her guilty a federal felony for criminal mischief and inciting a riot

U.S. District Judge Terry Moorer sentenced Pugh to time served. He also declined to impose any probationary term but did order her to pay the city of Mobile $572.63, the cost of the window she broke.

Although the case is over and Pugh is a free woman, the fundraising account asks for help paying for her federal defense. Her mother, Stephanie Tullos Tsikrikas, wrote on the site:

“She has representation at the municipal level and is ready to retain counsel for her federal charges. We have received some donations to help with fees and lost wages, however her family still falls short of what it will take to get the proper counsel to beat this federal charge.

“It would mean so much to Tia, her husband, her father and I if we could get support from friends, family, and the community to help us cover the costs of her legal defense.”

Pugh’s fund has raised $2,953 of a $3,000 goal.

Yet another account raising funds for the legal defense for a violent crime is that for Lawrence Edwards, a criminal who has been incarcerated for 13 years on robbery and firearms charges. He is serving a remaining 47-year sentence.

Claiming “over-sentencing,” he wants money to pay for a clemency attorney:

“Due to this injustice of over-sentencing and that I’ve currently done over a quarter of my sentence after exhausting all other remedies lead me to reach out to an attorney that specializes in Clemencies.  After paying $300 just for him to hear my case this attorney expressed that he doesn’t just take any case.

“He only takes clients that he believes has merit and that are candidates to be pardoned.  After speaking with him he strongly believes I fit that criter(ion).  In order for me to continue with his services I have to pay his entire fee up front which is $15,000.”

The account, organized by Angela Monds, has raised $20 for a stated goal of $15,000.

None of these clear violations of GoFundMe’s stated terms of service have been removed. Even more shocking is the fact that the majority of these occurred at the direction or inspiration of Black Lives Matter, who has led riots throughout the country.

One of the most blatant violations of the site’ stated terms of service is titled, “Fundraiser for Tucson Arrestees.” Organized by Tucson Solidarity, the site is collecting legal fees for 12 protesters arrested during a violent demonstration in August outside the Pima County Jail in Tucson, Arizona.

Jail officials said they were protesting the arrest of Anthony Potter, who was arrested by the University of Arizona Police Department for trespassing and several warrants, according to KVOA News.

Officials said the protestors were “throwing flares” and “being disruptive.”

The 12 were charged with felony riot charges. The GoFundMe site claims the arrests were “punishment for political activity” and are collecting money for their legal defense:

“The Tucson 12 arrestees had phones, bikes, and other valuable belongings seized by police, have had to miss work due to time spent in jail/court, and are on a supervised release in which they can’t leave Arizona without the permission of the court. Moreover, those who qualify for public defenders due to low income have received a notice that they will still be charged a minimum of $400 each to ‘reimburse the county for a portion of the cost of [their] legal defense.’ Independent of proving guilt, the state is already imposing a high cost for protest.

“With this in mind, we’ve formed The Tucson Anti-Repression Committee. We are a group of supporters and anti-repression activists in Tucson devoted to combatting the use of criminal charges to stifle political organizing. This is a horizontal organization created for direct support. We are going to use the funds raised by this page to pay for the Tucson 12 arrestees’ legal defense, confiscated phones, bikes, and other items, and to attempt to alleviate lost income from these charges.”

The fundraiser has raised $7,171 toward a goal of $12,000.

The specific terms of service which prohibits fundraising for legal defense of alleged crimes is found under Prohibited Conduct, Section 9 of the site’s terms. The section specifically prohibits:

“The legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, serious disabilities or diseases, financial crimes or crimes of deception.”

Kyle Rittenhouse, an innocent man, was denied the right to use the site for collection of legal defense, while those charged with riot and robbery continue to collect funds. One man has already been convicted of a violent felony and continues to collect funds.

___________________

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.
______________________

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