Suspect in Illinois death of 16-year-old railed against jail treatment in letters to officials

Days before releasing into the hands of law enforcement a 17-year-old teen who had been arrested on a gun charge, Waukesha County officials pushed for a special court hearing to consider whether to keep him in the juvenile system instead of placing him on probation.

In a letter written in February by Darrell Brooks to the court official assigned to his case, Brooks complained about his jail treatment:

“I got books thrown at me. I am bruised up,” Brooks wrote to Jennifer Benoit. “I wasn’t allowed to use the phone. My phone and closet are in the same cells…it’s just fair that I get something for all the time that you stood for the age,” Brooks, 17, told the judge who would soon hand him a juvenile record. The shooting death of 15-year-old Antwon Rose is still under investigation.

In another letter written in October, shortly after he was taken to the juvenile detention center in Rockford, Wis., Brooks complained:

“You made me jump to the bottom of the cell…and it was crazy,” Brooks wrote in a letter to Benoit. “First time getting it in my ears was very traumatic…They knuckle bust into me with no reason… it is just not like what they’re doing in jail.”

CourthouseWire broke the story of Brooks’s treatment in a Thursday story. In an interview with the station, Brooks said he is no longer in the juvenile system. Brooks pleaded guilty last month to one count of felony possession of a firearm, and is awaiting sentencing in adult court.

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