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AOC promotes bail reform a day after Waukesha Parade massacre

Outspoken socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) promoted bail reform efforts just a day after the Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where the suspect – Darrell E. Brooks Jr., who has a criminal record extended – was released on $ 1,000 bail days before he allegedly plowed an SUV into crowds of people.

In a tweet Monday morning, AOC shared a letter she wrote with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asking the five New York prosecutors for information on “eexcessive bail in the New York court system – especially for low income defendants. She tweeted:

More than 75% of those in custody have not been convicted of a crime and are confined in unsafe conditions simply because they cannot afford a cash bond. Condemning thousands of people to languish in such environments while awaiting trial is unacceptable.

The letter focused primarily on Rikers Island in New York City, alleging that “thousands of people” were forced to languish under terrible conditions. The letter said:

We are deeply concerned that excessive bail will lead to unnecessary pre-trial detention and contribute to a humanitarian crisis in the New York City prison system, particularly on Riker Island. 14 people have died this year in the custody of the New York City Department of Corrections.

The letter further noted that “federal intervention” may be necessary. :

Condemning thousands of individuals to languish in an environment of persistent overpopulation and increasing violence while awaiting trial is not acceptable and risks violating the federal civil rights of these individuals. If these conditions are not met, federal intervention may be necessary to protect inmates from further harm.

The subject of bail reform was placed in national limelight on Monday after Darrell E. Brooks Jr. was identified as the arrested suspect for the Waukesha massacre. According to Wisconsin court records, Darrell E. Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee, had a pending bail charge and a 2nd degree felony charge recklessly endangering safety with domestic violence ratings . He also had a charge of resisting a police officer, disorderly conduct and bodily harm. The alleged violations took place on November 2, 2021; the same Brooks was released on $ 1,000 bail on November 19 – just two days before the attack.

Brooks also had a lengthy criminal record related to battery and firearms charges dating back to 1999, including a pending warrant for sex crimes in the state of Nevada. Fox News noted:

Two separate judges released him on low-cost bail. First for $ 500 in February after allegedly shooting his nephew the previous summer and again for $ 1,000 earlier this month after a woman accused him of hitting and crushing her with the same SUV that would have walked through the Waukesha Christmas Parade.

Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm has been a strong supporter of bail reform and has even once praised the election of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, known for his leniency towards violent crime policies.

In a statement following the attack, Chisholm said Darrell Brooks’ “bail recommendation” was “not in line” with his policies.

“The bail recommendation, in this case, is inconsistent with the Milwaukee County Attorney’s Office’s approach to cases involving violent crime,” he said, “she didn’t ‘was also inconsistent with the accused’s pre-bail risk assessment. “

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