What if Darrell Brooks had been shot and killed by police officers while fleeing a crime in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon – and had never come close to the tragic city’s Christmas parade?
Would the nation’s cities be on fire again?
Probably the answer is yes – and the sad but completely reasonable projection speaks highly of the confused state of law enforcement in America today.
And in particular to the nation’s confusing inability – makes this reluctance – to confront the chaos and deadly violence that now plagues its cities.
Brooks was charged Monday with five counts of murder as Wisconsin officials and others tried to come to terms with their unique accident.
Officials say Brooks, a 39-year-old career criminal, had been involved in a knife fight in Waukesha Sunday afternoon; that he was frolicking when police arrived before whipping his SUV through the parade route. Five marchers died and dozens were injured – several critically.
No one knows what went through Brooks’ mind as he entered the parade.
What matters now – apart from, of course, Waukesha’s unfolding, unimaginable human tragedy – is that Darrell E. Brooks has become the latest face in America’s insane campaign against sensible law enforcement.
That is, he is the completely predictable product of a political and social media-driven effort to address crime by pretending it does not exist.
To present criminals – especially black criminals – as victims. Not to be meaningful attention to actual victims – who are predominantly black themselves.
And to hang the responsibility for widespread illegality on the nation’s criminal law, on its prisons – and ultimately on its police.
In a nutshell, violent officers and “mass imprisonment” are the problem. Not violent thugs.
Tell that to Waukesha.
Sunday’s multiple kill-for-vehicle was a unique event for America, and its painful effects will resonate for a very long time.
Brooks, however, is a depressingly familiar type.
He had been released on nominal bail on Friday after being charged on Nov. 5 with domestic abuse, resisting an officer, second-degree ruthless security threats, disorderly conduct and bail.
How’s that? Bail for a bail jumper? A guy whose violent criminal history dates back to 1999 when he was 17? So yes. Thanks to the so-called decarceration movement – the effort to keep criminals on the streets because prison cells are bad for them. Or something.
The local DA admitted on Monday that Brooks’ bail had been “inappropriately low in light of the pending charges against” him – especially given his “extensive criminal history.”
Easy for DA to say afterwards. But it is not just a single city in Wisconsin that has been exposed to risk.
The streets of America, especially New York, are filled with people who, behind deed and history, belong behind bars. But they go free because too many elected officials and other leaders really – insanely – believe that unjustified gentleness is sound politics.
Again, it’s not hard to imagine the situation in urban America on Sunday night if Brooks had collided fatally with police – especially after the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.
But he escaped at high speed to cause enormous – unimaginable – suffering in a small town in Wisconsin.
But whatever else can be said, Sunday in Waukesha was no coincidence. America must own it.
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