The trial for the man who drove into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin last year began today, Oct. 1, with jury selection. Darrel Brooks Jr., who took the life of 6 and injured more than 60 others when he plowed his SUV into a parade of families and children, chose to represent himself in the trial. After numerous instances of disorderly conduct in the courtroom, Judge Jennifer R. Dorow had to call a total of 11 recesses before forcing him to watch the proceedings via video from another room, according to Fox News.
The morning began with Brooks’ repeated violations of court conduct, despite receiving a laminated copy of standards and decorum in court. Just five minutes into the hearing, he was back in his holding cell watching the proceedings over video.
When asked if he had received documents from the court, Brooks claimed that he was ‘bombarded with paperwork,” saying that reviewing all the work was like “going into a gunfight with a butter knife.” Brooks also made the following requests: “For standby counsel, an adjournment of the case, for Dorow to state her name in court and for more time to review the discovery documentation he received,” according to Fox News.
Brooks, seated in a suit and face mask, refused to answer basic questions, demanding that the judge state her name and “certified copies of her oath.” He was also rambling on about the Constitution and his rights as a sovereign citizen. Dorow accused Brooks of failing to answer the “simplest of questions” and using his “sovereign citizen” pronouncement as an “obstructionist tactic” to not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court.
She then ordered the fourth recess and reminded him that “at any time” she has the ability to revoke his right to represent himself.
Brooks also had given a handwritten note with a list of demands, among them being that the prosecutors provide “veritable proof” that he is, in fact, an American citizen and that they prove that the “venue is a court of law or equity.”
Darrell Brooks initially pled not guilty and entered an insanity plea in June before dropping it in September. He reportedly faces 76 charges, “including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of reckless endangerment, with each homicide charge carrying a mandatory life sentence.
Brooks has an extensive criminal history and was involved in a prior domestic disturbance incident involving a knife. According to many mainstream reports at the time, Brooks was involved in a police chase before crashing into the parade, but those have since been rebuked. Before the attack, Brooks was on $1000 bail for running over a woman who refused to enter his vehicle.
While his social media accounts have since been deactivated, the posts have been preserved, showing black nationalist sympathies and anti-white rhetoric. In one tweet now removed, Brooks wrote, “So when we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it…the old white ppl 2 KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD.”