Juror in Kyle Rittenhouse trial dismissed for telling joke about police shooting of Jacob Blake


The incident occurred when a male juror made a joke concerning the capturing whereas being escorted to his automobile, Judge Bruce Schroeder mentioned.

“I’m going to summarize what I remember, what I was told,” Schroeder mentioned. “He was telling a joke … he told the officer … he made a reference about telling a joke about ‘Why did it take seven shots to shoot Jacob Blake,’ something to that effect.”

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger took specific difficulty with the incident.

“The joke is in bad taste, there are a plethora of bad jokes out there with everything to do with all this, this is one of them. But I think the rest of this joke, as it were, suggests some sort of racial bias which I think comes into play,” he mentioned.

The choose referred to as the juror into court docket for questioning. The juror affirmed he advised the joke however declined to repeat it. The juror, a middle-aged man, seemed ill-at-ease, fumbling to carry a conveyable microphone and talking by way of a multi-colored face masks, in line with a pool reporter in court docket.

“My feelings is, it was nothing to do with the case. It was nothing to do with Kyle and his charges,” the juror advised the choose.

Both the protection and the prosecution agreed to dismiss the juror, and the choose admonished him whereas doing so.

“It is clear that the appearance to bias is present and it would seriously undermine the outcome of the case,” Schroeder mentioned.

The juror’s dismissal leaves the panel with 19 complete jurors, made up of 11 ladies and eight males. That quantity can be narrowed to 12 as soon as deliberations start, in line with the choose. The jury was chosen in a single day with out using a preliminary questionnaire.

The dismissal got here amid the primary week of testimony in Rittenhouse’s murder trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse, 17 on the time, killed two males and wounded one other in the course of the unstable unrest after police shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, seven instances on August 23, 2020. Blake was left paralyzed.

Blake’s uncle mentioned Thursday his household is “disturbed and disgusted” by experiences of the dismissed juror’s joke.

“The juror’s mentality shows his bias and callousness and he should be nowhere near the jury box in this case,” Justin Blake advised CNN. “It shows the depravity and racism and the lowness of a member of a jury that was selected in one day.”

Rittenhouse, now 18, has pleaded not responsible to seven fees, together with first-degree intentional murder, first-degree reckless murder and first-degree tried intentional murder. His lawyer says he acted in self-defense.

Rittenhouse fired an AR-15-style weapon eight instances in all in the course of the unrest: 4 pictures at Joseph Rosenbaum, who was unarmed; two pictures at an unarmed unknown particular person who kicked Rittenhouse; one deadly shot at Anthony Huber, who hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard; and one shot at Gaige Grosskreutz, who was holding a gun, in line with prosecutors.

Journalist who noticed capturing says he felt in peril

Richie McGinniss, the chief video director of The Daily Caller, testified at Rittenhouse's trial on Thursday.

Richie McGinniss, a journalist who was simply toes from Rittenhouse when {the teenager} fatally shot Rosenbaum, testified Thursday that he felt he was in peril in the course of the capturing.

“I became extremely worried, because I was behind Rosenbaum, that I was gonna be caught in the — whatever was about to happen,” he mentioned.

“Given where I was, certainly I was in danger,” he added.

The testimony is essential to one of many fees towards Rittenhouse — a felony rely of first-degree recklessly endangering security.

McGinniss, the chief video director for the information web site The Daily Caller, testified that he traveled to Kenosha to movie elements of the unrest that he felt weren’t being lined in different media. He mentioned he felt the presence of an armed group of males made the scene extra harmful.

“Anytime that there are guns, that elevates the level of danger in my mind,” he mentioned.

That night time, he trailed behind Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum within the seconds earlier than the capturing. He mentioned his eyes “were fixated on the barrel of the weapon because I didn’t want to end up on the receiving end of that.”

McGinniss mentioned Rosenbaum appeared to lunge at Rittenhouse’s weapon on the identical time Rittenhouse shot him.

“It was as if, you know, if you were to lunge at somebody, if anybody were to lunge, they would probably stop themselves, you know, from falling face down on the ground, but the shots were fired in the exact instance that his momentum was going forward and that continued until Mr. Rosenbaum landed on the ground,” McGinniss mentioned.

After the capturing, McGinniss tried to render support to Rosenbaum, who was mendacity lifeless on the bottom. McGinniss and a number of other different individuals carried Rosenbaum throughout the road to a automobile after which rode within the trunk to a close-by hospital.

“We drove down a small ramp and at that point I was alone in the back with Mr. Rosenbaum and I was just telling him that we’re going to have a beer together afterwards and it was all going to be OK,” McGinniss mentioned.

McGinniss at instances grew to become emotional throughout his testimony, wiping his face and sniffling as he turned to observe video of the capturing.

“Is it hard for you to see that?” prosecutor Binger requested him.

“I certainly don’t like to watch it,” McGinniss replied.

McGinniss mentioned he advised police Rittenhouse was “trying to evade” people, together with Rosenbaum, previous to the deadly capturing. Rittenhouse didn’t appear menacing except for the very fact he had a weapon, McGinniss mentioned.

Videos present last moments

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha on August 25, 2020, with another armed civilian.

On Wednesday and Thursday, prosecutors performed a couple of dozen movies that, taken collectively, confirmed what occurred earlier than, throughout and after Rittenhouse killed two males and wounded one other in Kenosha.

In specific, new FBI infrared aerial surveillance video offered a singular angle into the ultimate moments earlier than {the teenager} fatally shot Rosenbaum. The infrared video, grainy and shot from 8,500 toes overhead, reveals Rittenhouse hustling alongside a sidewalk and passing Rosenbaum, who’s positioned subsequent to a cluster of parked vehicles.

The video reveals the 2 cease and work together, and Rosenbaum, who was unarmed, then begins to run towards Rittenhouse, who’s armed with a rifle. Rittenhouse, then 17, runs away from Rosenbaum earlier than {the teenager} finally turns and shoots him 4 instances, the video reveals.

Kyle Rittenhouse's trial is about to begin. These are the 3 men he shot

The new FBI aerial video was proven in court docket throughout testimony from Kenosha Police Det. Martin Howard, the lead investigator on the case.

Richards, Rittenhouse’s lawyer, alleged that Rosenbaum was within the car parking zone setting a Duramax car on hearth. Richards argued that Rosenbaum “was in hiding” as Rittenhouse arrived on the car parking zone, which Howard confirmed.

Videos taken of the scene from different witnesses present Rosenbaum threw a plastic bag at Rittenhouse in the course of the chase, however Rosenbaum was in any other case unarmed. The movies additionally present {that a} completely different particular person fired a gunshot within the air about 2.5 seconds earlier than Rittenhouse opened hearth.

That preliminary shot was fired by Joshua Ziminski, Howard testified. Afterward, Rittenhouse fired 4 instances at Rosenbaum. There have been one other three pictures afterward, the movies present, however Howard mentioned investigators nonetheless have no idea who fired these.

Ziminski, 36, has individually been charged with disorderly conduct utilizing a harmful weapon, arson and obstructing an officer, and he has pleaded not responsible, court docket information present. A legal grievance says he admitted to firing a “warning shot” within the air that night time.

Other movies that night time from quite a lot of views present what occurred subsequent. Rittenhouse ran from the capturing scene and other people started to chase after him, yelling that he had shot somebody. Rittenhouse then fell to the bottom, and three individuals confronted him; Rittenhouse fatally shot Huber and shot Grosskreutz within the arm, the movies present.

CNN’s Ashley Killough, Brad Parks, Sara Sidner and Amir Vera contributed to this report.

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