By: Dylan Evans
Kenosha, Wis., Nov. 5: Earlier this week, Kyle Rittenhouse began facing charges in court for first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. He also faces one misdemeanor charge for possession of a dangerous weapon under the age of 18.
Rittenhouse had shot and killed two men and wounded another during the protests in Kenosha during August. These protests were following the Black Lives Matter movement after Kenosha police shot Jacob Blake seven times because he resisted arrest.
Rittenhouse, seventeen at the time of the protests, had purchased an AR-15 rifle and began patrolling the area of the protests, claiming he was protecting the local stores from vandalism and looting.
Rittenhouse and the lawyers representing him plead that he is not guilty, claiming that the shots fired were out of self-defense after the three men, Anthony Huber, Joseph Rosenbaum, and Gaige Grosskreutz, supposedly attacked him.
November 5 marks the fifth day of trial for Rittenhouse, with a Juror being dismissed for a joke about the case with tensions rising.
As of today, there have been several witness accounts in the trial. The first witness called to the stand was Dominick Black, a 20-year-old friend of Rittenhouse who had purchased the firearm that was used in the shooting.
Black claims that Rittenhouse was “freaking out” and was “pale and sweaty” after he fatally shot two people. Black was also questioned whether Rittenhouse indicated if the men had weapons, which he claimed that Rittenhouse shared no indication of the crowd possessing weapons.
Another primary testimony comes from a journalist, claiming that a man cursed at Rittenhouse and lunged for his weapon before shots were fired. The testimony from Richie McGinniss, a journalist who was recording video in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020, when the shootings took place, could bolster the defense’s argument that Rittenhouse, then 17, feared for his life.
Thus far in the case, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder has been putting his best effort into making the case unbiased and fair. Therefore, the previous mention of a dismissal of a juror occurred.
The juror made a joke about the original shooting of Jacob Blake, which follows; “Why did the police stop shooting Blake? Because they ran out of bullets.”
After Judge Schroeder questioned the juror about the joke, he defended himself by saying it had “nothing to do with the case.” Judge Schroeder disagreed, stating “The public needs to be confident that this is a fair trial… [it was] bad judgment to tell a joke of that nature.” Schroeder later stated that he “had no choice” but to remove the juror from the trial.
This brings the nation to a tense and divisive case. The Kyle Rittenhouse trials needed a fair and unbiased jury to come to an appropriate conclusion. With much speculation surrounding the events that led up to the shooting, as well as the tension from the Jacob Blake shooting still being apparent in Kenosha, the entire event has many people waiting for the conclusion.