What if Darrell Brooks had been shot dead by police officers while fleeing a felony in Waukesha, Wis., Sunday afternoon — and never got near that tragic city’s Christmas parade

Would the nation’s cities be in flames once again? 

Odds are the answer is yes — and that sad but entirely reasonable projection speaks loudly to the deranged state of law enforcement in America today. 

And, in particular, to the nation’s bewildering inability — make that unwillingness — to confront the chaos and lethal violence now plaguing its cities. 

Brooks was charged with five counts of murder Monday as Wisconsin officials and others attempted to come to terms with their singular calamity. 

Officials say that Brooks, a 39-year-old career criminal, had been involved in a knife fight in Waukesha Sunday afternoon; that he bolted when police arrived before whipping his SUV through the parade route. Five marchers died, and scores were injured — several critically. 

Nobody knows what was going through Brooks’ mind as he turned into the parade. 

What matters now — apart, of course, from Waukesha’s unfolding, unfathomable human tragedy — is that Darrell E. Brooks has become the latest face of America’s deranged campaign against reasonable law enforcement. 

That is, he’s the entirely predictable product of a political- and social-media driven effort to address crime by pretending that it doesn’t exist. 

Darrell Brooks
Darrell Brooks plowed into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021.
Waukesha County Sheriff Office via AP

To present criminals — particularly black criminals — as victims. To pay no meaningful attention to actual victims — who overwhelmingly are black themselves. 

And to hang responsibility for rampant illegality on the nation’s criminal codes, on its prisons — and, ultimately, on its police. 

In a nutshell, abusive cops and “mass incarceration” are the problem. Not violent thugs. 

Well, tell that to Waukesha. 

SUV drives into crowd severely injuring several people in Waukesha, WI on Nov. 21, 2021
An SUV drove into the crowd, killing and injuring multiple people in Waukesha on Nov. 21, 2021

Sunday’s multiple-homicide-by-vehicle was a unique event for America, and its agonizing effects will resonate for a very long time. 

Brooks, however, is a depressingly familiar type. 

He had been released on nominal bail Friday after being charged Nov. 5 with domestic abuse, resisting an officer, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct and felony bail-jumping. 

How’s that? Bail for a bail-jumper? A fellow whose violent criminal history extends back to 1999, when he was 17? Well, yes. Thank the so-called decarceration movement — the effort to keep criminals on the streets because jail cells are bad for them. Or something. 

The local DA conceded Monday that Brooks’ bail had been “inappropriately low in light of the pending charges against” him — especially given his “extensive criminal history.” 

Easy for the DA to say, after the fact. But it’s not just a single city in Wisconsin that’s been put to risk. 

America’s streets, New York’s in particular, are filled with people who by deed and history belong behind bars. But they walk free because too many elected officials and other leaders truly — insanely — believe that unwarranted leniency is sound policy. 

Police investigate at the scene of a crash involving multiple people and injuries at a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis., on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021.
Police investigate at the scene of a crash involving multiple people and injuries at a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis., on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021.
Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP

Again, it’s not hard to imagine the state of urban America Sunday night had Brooks collided fatally with the police — especially after the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. 

But he made his escape, at high speed, to cause immense — unimaginable — suffering in a small Wisconsin city. 

But whatever else might be said, Sunday in Waukesha was no accident. America needs to own it.

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