Crime has been a driving factor this election cycle; Dorow’s court moves to another disturbing case.
A week from today is Election Day when we hope to see good turnout for a clean election run by clerks respecting the law, assuring each legal vote counts and has equal weight.
There is another important event on November 8.
It is a court date to determine if the accused rapist of an 87-year-old grandmother, who was carjacked and sexually assaulted at knifepoint in broad daylight as she returned books to the library in Waukesha, is competent to stand trial.
The teen accused of assaulting the elderly woman on November 30 of last year, Khalil Perry, nephew of Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, was picked up driving the victim’s car shortly after the assault. Charges include sexual assault, armed robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping with the use of a dangerous weapon, all felonies.
News of this case, contrary to the handling of other serious juvenile cases, was nonexistent for more than a week – which could have been much longer – until Wisconsin Right Now broke the story. Until then, the police said nothing, the DA said nothing, and Mayor Johnson said nothing. Coming just a week after the Christmas Parade tragedy, and being approached with kid gloves, this case has not garnered the attention, or the outrage, it deserves.
Based on the seriousness of the charges the case was waived into adult court in April, but the defense attorney filed a motion to stay the decision, citing potential “irreparable harm” to the perpetrator. (No mention of the irreparable harm to the victim.)
In early September, at a hearing to establish probable cause, the defense attorney again moved to delay, this time suggesting, for the first time, that Perry is not competent to stand trial. A competency examination was scheduled, a report completed, and the defense is challenging the competency findings – another delay.
In an unusual move, the prosecution, not the defense, has demanded a speedy trial, citing the age of the victim, suggesting concerns about indefinite delays by the defense. The defense requested denial of the state’s speedy trial demand.
This gut-wrenching case is in Judge Dorow’s court, which just spent October suffering the gut-churning spectacle of the Brooks trial.
November 8, nearly a full year after the crime was committed, the first of two evidentiary hearings is scheduled to discuss the “competence” of the accused, and a second hearing is on the books for December 16, more than a year after he was charged.
The teen appears to have been competent to wield a knife, competent to kidnap someone, competent to sexually assault someone, competent to drive a stolen car, and competent to attempt to flee police. He was apparently competent to tell the victim that he knew where she lived and would kill her whole family if she reported the crime.
Perry, whose mother says he aspires to be just like his uncle the mayor, apparently had aspirations more aimed at winning a seat in a prison rather than one in the mayor’s office.
So much of the campaigning this cycle has been about crime, and neighborhood safety. Some on the left, including Democratic Socialists who will boast two members of the legislature next session, have mocked concerns about rising violent crime as “hysteria.”1
The left has claimed there has been no real surge in crime, and the only reason anyone feels unsafe is irresponsible exaggeration by those on the right, and any crime problems that do exist would all be cured by gun control. And ending white supremacy, obviously.
But a midday Christmas Parade wasn’t safe for families, children and grandmothers in suburbia from a felon using a vehicle as a weapon. And the library was not safe for a grandmother from an aspiring criminal with a knife, again in suburban broad daylight. If only there was gun control! If only the victims weren’t so…racist. Then there’d be an end to crime!
This of course ignores the increasing concern people across the state feel about their safety. And it ignores the half the population in our largest city who feel unsafe simply going about their daily activities. Crime is not just a city problem, it’s not just a Milwaukee problem, and it’s not just a gun problem. The safety of neighborhoods across the state are impacted by the policies those we elect put in place.
The decisions made next week in court, and at the ballot box, will have lasting impacts.
In court, we will learn more about whether the accused will stand trial, whether to expect more delays, and whether the victim will see justice.
At the ballot box, we will see whether tougher criminal penalties and more support for police on the streets will be utilized as deterrents to crime, or whether we will see a continuation of the Scold-and-Release policies that have made our communities less safe.
1The use of the word hysteria, an overtly sexist and highly loaded term that – until the 1980s – was included in physician diagnostic manuals as a female (whatever that means) mental disorder, seems surprising from the perpetually offended left. But then, one must remember that in the handbook for liberals: being offensive, dismissive, and sexist is fine when the left does it, tolerance cannot be extended to those on the right, and physicians are completely infallible, until they’re not, but don’t make a big deal about when they’re proven wrong.