Kyle Rittenhouse got some good news from Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder during pre-trial hearings when the judge said he will “likely” allow a video defense lawyers think helps Kyle’s claims of self-defense.
The video shows police officers thanking and giving water to citizens for helping protect Kenosha, Wisconsin during the riots. The defense team claims the footage shows that Rittenhouse was welcomed and thanked by an overwhelmed police department which speaks to Kyle’s state of mind.
WISN 12 reporter Hillary Mintz broke the news on Twitter: “Judge says he will likely allow video from a witness that shows anonymous officers thanking armed civilians and giving Rittenhouse and others water moments before the deadly shootings, state said police activity wasn’t relevant, defense says it speaks to his state of mind.”
Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyers also scored a win last week when a judge ruled they can refer to the men he shot as “rioters” and “looters,” but prosecutors cannot call them “victims.”
Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder said, “If more than one of them were engaged in arson, rioting, looting, I’m not going to tell the defense you can’t call them that.
“He can demonize them if he wants, if he thinks it will win points with the jury,” Schroeder added. “The word ‘victim’ is a loaded, loaded word,” Schroeder said. “‘Alleged victim’ is a cousin to it.”
Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to the charges saying he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz in August 2020.
From The Chicago Tribune:
The ruling — among the last issued by Schroeder before jury selection begins Nov. 1 — clearly frustrated prosecutors, who suggested the judge was creating a double standard by allowing Rosenbaum and Huber to be disparaged when they could not defend themselves.
“The terms that I’m identifying here such as rioter, looter and arsonist are as loaded, if not more loaded, than the term victim,” Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said.
The defense intends to argue that Rosenbaum, in particular, posed a danger that night as he threatened to kill people and engaged in arson. None of the acts, however, occurred in the moments immediately preceding the shooting.
“The behavior of many people there was lawless,” defense attorney Mark Richards said. “Mr. Rosenbaum was at the top of that list.”
The prosecutor said the video would transform the trial into a referendum on police procedure that night when it isn’t relevant.
“This is a case about what the defendant did that night,” Binger said. “I’m concerned this will be turned into a trial about what law enforcement did or didn’t do that night.”
Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi argued the video shows that police felt Rittenhouse wasn’t acting recklessly. Binger countered that the shootings happened after Rittenhouse interacted with the police, but Schroeder decided to allow the video.
Here we go, Rittenhouse back in court for final evidence hearing, lot to button up before trial next week. pic.twitter.com/xBoXKNVDsu
— Hillary Mintz (@HILLARY_MINTZ) October 25, 2021
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse can be described as rioters and looters, judge rules
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) October 26, 2021