A Milwaukee family who lost their son to a driver going 109 miles per hour when he hit a tree has slammed the county’s woke DA who has fought for lower bail levels.
Danari Peer, 20, was killed while riding in the passenger side of Jai’Quann McMurty’s car on October 5.
McMurtry had three felonies on his record related to gun and cocaine possession and was out on bail when he was driving the car, having received just $1,000 signature bond and $500 cash bond for the offenses.
Nicole Byrd and Jackie Peer are blaming their son’s death on Democrat District Attorney John T. Chisholm’s lax bail policies.
Chisholm was elected as Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2007. In his tenure, he’s consistently fought for lower cash bonds for criminals, similar to the policies blamed for driving up crime in cities like New York and Portland.
One high-profile case was that of Waukesha parade killer Darrell Brooks.
He was a felon with a history of domestic violence charges who was locked up for running over the mother of his children, days before being freed to mow down and kill six attending a festive parade in the Wisconsin city last November.
A Milwaukee family who lost their son, Danari Peer (pictured), to a driver going 109 miles per hour when he hit a tree are furious at the county’s liberal district attorney who has fought for lower bail levels his entire tenure in office
Peer, 20, was killed while riding in the passenger side of Jai’Quann McMurty’s (pictured) car on October 5
Nicole Byrd and Jackie Peer are blaming their son’s death on District Attorney John T. Chisholm’s lax bail policies
Chisholm was elected as Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2007 and he immediately started advocating for lower cash bonds for criminals
McMurtry has been charged with three counts of felony bail jumping, cocaine possession, driving without a license and second-degree reckless homicide in connection with the crash.
He appeared in crutches and a wheelchair when he pled not guilty in a Milwaukee County Court on Thursday. Bail was set at $50,000, which Peer’s parents still believe is insufficient.
Jackie Peer, Danari’s father, said: ‘Within two years, he accumulated six felonies and was still allowed to be on the street.’
His mother, Nicole Byrd, added: ‘We are fighting for the catch-and-release to be eliminated. This is not just justice for our son. This is for Milwaukee, for our community.’
They believe that the county must act and are asking the victims of Brooks to join them ‘when they feel up to it.’
Milwaukee hasn’t ever abolished cash bond nor has the state, but prosecutors in the DA’s office advocate for lower amounts.
In 2007, Chisholm told the : ‘Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen.
‘It does not invalidate the overall approach.’
His prediction came to pass last year, when Waukesha parade killer Darrell Brooks was out on the streets after it emerged he’s been bailed twice this year despite a lengthy criminal history stretching back to 1999.
Chisholm released a statement admitting Brooks, 39, should not have been released on a $1,000 bond earlier this month following an alleged hit-and-run incident involving his girlfriend.
Brooks was given six life sentences on November 16 after he was found guilty on that same number of counts of intentional homicide.
The judge symbolically added at least another 1,067 years to the life sentences to underscore the severity of the crimes for which she said Brooks showed ‘no remorse, no empathy.’
Brooks, 40, received the sentencing after of 76 criminal charges, including the six counts of intentional homicide.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm (right) is an enthusiastic bail reform advocate who previously suggested the state should replicate San Francisco’s bail reform to do away with cash bond on minor crimes
Darrell Brooks Jr is shown in his November 22 mugshot. Brooks was given six life sentences on November 16 after he was found guilty on that same number of counts of intentional homicide
The judge symbolically added at least another 1,067 years to the life sentences to underscore the severity of the crimes for which she said Brooks showed ‘no remorse, no empathy’
But Chisholm, 58, has previously boasted of letting a nonprofit opposed to cash bail audit his office, and has spoken repeatedly about trying to reduce his county’s prison population.
Following Brooks’ arrest, Chisholm’s office released a statement Monday conceding that the career criminal’s bail was set ‘inappropriately low.’
‘The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime, nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to setting of bail.
‘This office is currently conducting an internal review of the decision to make the recent bail recommendation in this matter in order to determine the appropriate next steps,’ the statement read.
The massive misstep in the Milwaukee legal office’s handling of Brooks’ bail proceedings comes as career prosecutor and longtime Milwaukee County DA Chisholm sought to send fewer Wisconsin residents to prison while maintaining public safety – amid an unprecedented influx of crime in Milwaukee County.
To combat the crime wave, Chisholm enlisted the help of the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York-based nonprofit group that works with leaders in government and civil settings ‘to improve the services people rely on for safety and justice,’ according to the organization’s website.
Its website explicitly says that Vera opposes cash bail. Advocates say the measure unfairly penalizes the poorest, and results in disproportionate numbers of ethnic minority suspects in jails awaiting trial. But opponents say the measure often results in career criminals being immediately released back onto the streets to commit more offenses, with the measure partially-blamed for NYC’s ongoing crime spike.
Milwaukee County still imposes cash bail rules. But through this coalition with Vera, Chisholm also looked to address the prevailing racial disparities in incarcerations in the predominantly white county, with Wisconsin leading the nation in black incarcerations.
Vera Institute President Nicholas Turner hailed Chisholm’s efforts in the 2015 New Yorker piece.
He said: ‘For a long time, prosecutors have defined themselves through conviction rates and winning the big cases with the big sentences. But the evidence is certainly tipping that the attainment of safety and justice requires more than just putting people in prison for a long time.
‘Prosecutors have to redefine their proper role in a new era. Chisholm stuck his neck out there and started saying that prosecutors should also be judged by their success in reducing mass incarceration and achieving racial equality.’
According to data compiled by the Milwaukee Employment & Training Institute reveals, more than half of all African-American males in their 30s and 40s residing in the state of Wisconsin have at some point served a stint in state prisons.
Jackie Peer told : ‘We’re not going away. This is something we feel we need to continue on to honor Danari and help other families.’
<div id="external-source-links" class="item"