There are a lot of things we don’t know about Darrell Brooks Jr., the man accused of killing five and injuring more than 40 in a van attack on a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
One thing we do know: He has a history of domestic violence, according to police.
Brooks … has been charged three times in less than two years with recklessly endangering the safety of others, most recently on Nov. 5 as part of a domestic abuse incident …
In the most recent case, a woman told police Brooks purposefully ran her “over with his vehicle” while she was walking through a gas station parking lot after he had followed her there after a fight, according to the criminal complaint.
Not only that, but when he allegedly drove his SUV through the crowd at the parade he was leaving the scene of yet another domestic disturbance. (Early reports suggested the police were chasing him but that’s apparently not true.)
Not every domestic abuser becomes a mass murderer, but a substantial number of those who have committed mass murders have a history of domestic abuse.
As Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes,
A 2020 investigation by Bloomberg News looked at five years of mass shootings with four or more casualties and made a stunning find — that roughly 60% of them involved an attacker who either had a prior history of domestic violence, or specifically targeted women in his assault, or both. What’s more, the report found that the cases involving shooters with a link to domestic violence were more deadly than those that were not.
Most of those killed in the van rampage were women in a performing group called The Dancing Grannies. We don’t know yet if the alleged driver specifically targeted women or if this was mere coincidence.
What is clear is that misogyny kills.
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