The 39-year-old Milwaukee, Wisconsin man who drove his SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha killing 5 people and injuring dozens more, never should have been in a position to do so. Darrell E. Brooks Jr. has a criminal record that dates back to 1999.
Brooks Jr., has been charged with numerous violent felonies and had an active arrest warrant in Nevada for failure to obey sex offender laws. In 2006 Brooks was convicted of having consensual sex with a 15-year-old and conceiving a child with the young woman.
Brooks jumped bail and never appeared in court. Earlier this month Brooks was arrested for running a woman over with the same red SUV he drove during his killing spree. He was released from prison on a mere $1,000 bail.
Brooks drove his car through the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday, leaving five people dead, 48 individuals injured including two children who are still in critical condition. Brooks, the lone suspect, will be charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide and other offenses, according to police chief Dan Thompson.
“There is no evidence that this is a terrorist incident,” Chief Thompson said. “We have no information that Brooks knew anybody from the parade.”
One officer discharged his firearm to try to stop the suspect, but did not strike Brooks or any bystanders.
“He drove right through the barricades and the officers,” Chief Thompson said. “When an officer tried to engage and stop the threat, he still continued through the crowd.
Waukesha Fire Chief Steve Howard described the “carnage” that first responders saw as they provided medical aid to the injured.
“What stands out in my mind from our conversations, we do have people with military backgrounds and they likened it to a war zone,” Howard said.
Thompson noted that residents also immediately started working with first responders to triage victims and transport them to local hospitals.
“Minutes after the incident occurred, I responded to the scene, and what I saw out of chaos and tragedy, was heroes,” Thompson said.
The five deceased victims are 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson, 71-year-old LeAnna Owen, 52-year-old Tamara Durand, and 52-year-old Jane Kulich.
NY Lawmakers want to tax tech giants to get $500M to fund unemployment benefits for illegal migrants
New York lawmakers are debating over a proposed Democratic initiative that would pave the way for a multibillion-dollar fund designed to provide unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants. Spearheaded by state Senator Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat, the proposal has ignited passionate discussions within the Senate Finance Committee, where it currently awaits further deliberation.
The Center Square reports the proposal would utilize a $500 million trust fund earmarked specifically to offer jobless benefits for individuals who find themselves ineligible for traditional unemployment payments and other public assistance programs. To finance this ambitious endeavor, proponents of the plan are advocating for the imposition of a novel tax targeting tech behemoths like Google and Amazon. This tax, aimed at digital advertising revenue, is projected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars to sustain the fund.
Ramos has alluded to her belief that migrants are a fundamental contribution to the state’s economy. Despite their authorization to work, payment of taxes, and active involvement in the labor force, undocumented immigrants face a glaring disparity—they are excluded from accessing vital safety nets like unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs.
In a social media post, Ramos cited the expiration of federal unemployment insurance for freelancers and the depletion of the Excluded Workers Fund. She argues vehemently for a safety net aligned with the evolving dynamics of the labor market, one that extends support to all workers, regardless of their immigration status.
The proposed fund, aptly named the Unemployment Bridge Program, outlines comprehensive eligibility criteria encompassing a spectrum of marginalized workers—from undocumented migrants to freelancers and individuals recently released from incarceration or immigrant detention. By establishing clear guidelines and procedures, the program endeavors to streamline the application process, ensuring equitable access to unemployment benefits for those in need.
The initiative comes in the wake of prolonged deliberations regarding jobless benefits for undocumented immigrants and nontraditional workers in New York. Amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state previously allocated $2.1 billion to the Excluded Workers Fund, offering a lifeline to those excluded from conventional unemployment benefits.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 underscores a commitment to supporting asylum seekers, with significant allocations directed towards housing and legal assistance. The proposal has met with opposition from Republicans, who argue for prioritizing legal residents and taxpayers in the allocation of state resources. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt contends that limited resources should be reserved exclusively for those who have contributed to the state’s tax base.
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