The claim: The suspect in the Waukesha, Wisconsin, parade attack was released on $1,000 bail
As people react to the acquittal of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse and the Wisconsin parade attack that resulted in six deaths and dozens of injuries, some on social media are trying to draw a comparison between the two cases.
A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty Nov. 19 on all counts after he testified that he acted in self-defense when he shot three people during protests last summer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Days later, authorities identified Darrell Brooks, 39, as the alleged driver who plowed into the Waukesha Christmas parade Nov. 21.
Now, a viral post circulating online claims Rittenhouse spent two months in custody and his bail was set at $2 million, while Brooks was released on $1,000 bail.
“This guy plowed through a Christmas parade killing 5 people & injuring 40 & he out on bail for $1,000,” reads a screenshot of a tweet shared to Facebook on Nov. 22. “Teenager Kyle killed 2 felons who attacked him, in a self-defense& had $2million bail & 2 months in prison.”
The original tweet was shared Nov. 22 by conservative author Melissa Tate. Her post accumulated more than 21,000 likes and 8,000 retweets and includes a mugshot of Brooks.
But Brooks's bail was set at $5 million. He was recently released on a $1,000 bond in an unrelated case.
USA TODAY reached out to Tate and the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.
Bail for Brooks set at $5 million
As of Nov. 24, Brooks remained in custody at the Waukesha County Jail. He was not released on $1,000 bail, as the post claims.
After a sixth death was reported Nov. 23, Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper said an additional homicide charge would be filed.
Citing Brooks's criminal record, Opper requested $5 million bail, which was granted by Court Commissioner Kevin M. Costello, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Brooks released on $1,000 bail before parade
The $1,000 bail cited in the post is related to crimes Brooks allegedly committed prior to the parade attack.
Authorities released Brooks from custody earlier in November on $1,000 bail for unrelated charges in Milwaukee County. According to court records, he was charged Nov. 5 with resisting an officer, disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment, jumping bail and battery.
On Nov. 11, Brooks posted bail. He was released from the Milwaukee County Jail on Nov. 16, taken to the Waukesha County Jail for a hold in a paternity case and released that day.
In a statement published on Twitter, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm called the $1,000 bail "inappropriately low" and said there will be an internal review of the recommendation to "determine the appropriate next steps."
Special access for subscribers! Click here to sign up for our fact-check text chat
Over the past two decades, Brooks has faced a number of charges, including recklessly endangering safety and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to court records reviewed by the Journal Sentinel.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that the suspect in the Waukesha, Wisconsin, parade attack was released on $1,000 bail. A Wisconsin judge set bail at $5 million, and Brooks has not been released from custody. Brooks posted $1,000 bail Nov. 11 for a separate case.
Our fact-check sources:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 2, 2020, Bail set at $2 million for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen accused in Kenosha shootings
Waukesha County Correctional Facilities, Nov. 24, Current Inmate list
Waukesha Police Department, Nov. 22, Facebook post
USA TODAY, Nov. 23, Prosecutors charge Waukesha suspect with five counts intentional homicide
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 23, Darrell Brooks Jr., the accused driver in the Waukesha Christmas Parade massacre, charged with 5 counts of first-degree intentional homicide
Wisconsin Circuit Court Access, accessed Nov. 24, Case No. 2021CF004596 State of Wisconsin vs. Darrell Edward Brooks Jr.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 22, Darrell Brooks is the suspect in the Waukesha Christmas Parade incident. The Milwaukee man has been charged with crimes 10 times since 1999.
Kristen Barbaresi, Nov. 22, Tweet
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app, or electronic newspaper replica here.
Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Waukesha parade attack suspect's bail set at $5 million