Waukesha gets Justice after Parade Trial


photo courtesy of NBC

Darrell Brooks, 40, was found guilty in the Milwaukee courts on Oct. 26 after driving his car through the city of Waukesha’s Christmas parade. 

The trial was considered bizarre because Brooks represented himself. Under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, anyone can be appointed legal counsel even if the defendant cannot afford one. This act is never recommended by the defense nor the prosecution, but with the Sixth Amendment, Brooks used Pro Se, which is Latin for “in one’s behalf,” allowing him to represent himself. 

For this to be allowed, the judge must determine competency, meaning the defendant must understand the charges against them in order for the defendant to represent themself.

As of Nov. 5, 2021, Brooks had multiple open felony charges. The US Sun reported, “He was charged by Milwaukee courts with resisting an officer, felony bail jumping, second degree recklessly endangering safety with domestic abuse assessments, disorderly conduct and battery. The alleged killer is said to have posted $1000 bail in cash on Nov. 19, 2021.” 

The Waukesha Christmas parade was on Nov. 21, 2021, two days after Brooks posted bail, where six people were murdered and over 40 others were injured. 12 of the victims were children. 

Videos of the incident surfaced showing people being hit by Brooks’ car and gunfire from the police to stop the car. The massacre had the city of Waukesha and Carroll University locked down until the police found Brooks later that evening. 

Brooks was disrespectful during most of the trial. He would interrupt Judge Jennifer Dorow and the prosecution. He also claimed to be a sovereign citizen, which is an extremist movement that goes against the government. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation describes the movement as “anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this county, they are separate or ‘sovereign’ from the United States. As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments or law enforcement.” 

Though Brooks claims to be a sovereign citizen, he practices his Sixth Amendment right to no legal counsel.  

The sovereign citizen movement is becoming more common in courts, especially since judges are not taught how to deal with the behavior in court, according to Newsweek. Those who claim to be a sovereign citizen attempted to distract and throw the trial off track. 

Judge Dorow counteracted Brooks’ attempts throughout the trial by making the jury leave the courtroom, taking Brooks out of the room or threatening to give legal counsel to Brooks if he did not stop his behavior.

At one point in the trial, Brooks stared at Dorow trying to throw her off and scare her. Judge Dorow ordered him to be taken out of court. At other times, Brooks read the Bible upside down, took off his clothes and made other outbursts. 

Brooks was found guilty on all 76 charges including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. The sentencing will be held on 

Nov. 15-16, 2022. WISN 12 states that Brooks faces six consecutive life sentences and 859 years in prison. 

After the guilty verdict, families of the victims gave statements to the public expressing their gratitude to the jury for making the right decision and thanked the prosecution for their dedication to the case.