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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, expressed indignation over left-wing policies that he believes led to tragedy at the Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christmas parade, as suspect Darrell E. Brooks Jr. had been released twice in Wisconsin just this year after low bail was set in his cases.
Cruz took to Twitter in response to a New York Post article that revealed Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm supported progressive criminal justice reforms even while admitting that it was “guaranteed” to result in a defendant getting out and killing somebody.
“This is shocking. Across the country, radical Leftists are releasing violent criminals from jail – with little or no bail – only to see them commit yet more violent crimes,” Cruz tweeted Tuesday. “This horrific mass murder is the latest example. And it was fully preventable.”
The Post article cited an interview Chisholm did with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2007. In the interview, Chisholm did not discuss bail, but did talk about taking an unorthodox approach to nonviolent crimes by diverting them away from the criminal justice system and into other types of programs like drug treatment.
“Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody?” Chisholm said. “You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach.”
Two separate judges freed Brooks on low-cost bail, records show. First for $500 in February after allegedly shooting at his nephew the previous summer and again for $1,000 earlier this month after a woman accused him of punching her and running her over with the same SUV that allegedly plowed through Waukesha’s Christmas parade.
Chisholm’s office said that in the February case, bail was originally set at $10,000 and later reduced to $7,500, but was then reduced dramatically to $500 due to a court scheduling conflict that would have deprived Brooks of his right to a speedy trial.
The DA’s office said they would be conducting a review of the more recent case, acknowledging that their bail recommendation “was inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges and the pending charges” Brooks was already facing.
“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,” Chisholm’s office said.
While Chisholm himself is not defending the low bail in Brooks’ cases, Cruz’s outrage may be directed in part at other Democrats who continue to push for reductions or eliminations of cash bail even in the aftermath of the Waukesha tragedy.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., sent letters Monday to the district attorneys of all five New York City boroughs.
“We have grave concerns that excessive bail amounts are leading to unnecessary pretrial detention and contributing to a humanitarian crisis in New York City’s jail system, particularly on Rikers Island,” the letter said, warning that “[i]f these conditions are not addressed, federal intervention may be necessary to protect detainees from additional harm.”
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.