KENOSHA, Wisconsin (AP) – A juror in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse was released Thursday after a court security officer reported the man told a joke about the police shooting of Jacob Blake that sparked protests in the city of Wisconsin , in which Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three people.
Kenosha County district judge Bruce Schroeder said the security officer reported the remarks earlier this week. Prosecutor Thomas Binger said the split statements showed racial bias. Blake, who is Black, was shot by a white Kenosha police officer and remained partially paralyzed.
When Schroeder called the jury into the courtroom to discuss what he was saying, the jury said he did not want to repeat his comments. However, Schröder said it was “clear that there is a semblance of bias and that the outcome of the trial would be seriously undermined” and that the juror would be dismissed.
The judge then replied, “It had nothing to do with the case. It had nothing to do with Kyle. “
Rittenhouse, 18, from Antioch, Illinois, killed two people and injured a third during a protest against police brutality in Kenosha in August 2020. The protests began after the police officer shot Blake in the back while responding to a reported domestic disturbance. Blake had fought with officers and had a knife with him. The prosecution later declined to indict the officer.
Twenty jurors sat on Rittenhouse’s trial on murder and other charges this week, with Schroeder saying he would later decide which 12 would decide the case and which would be substitutes.
Rittenhouse, who said he went to the protest that night to protect companies from damage by demonstrators, could face life imprisonment if convicted in the politically polarizing case. Prosecutors have portrayed Rittenhouse as the instigator of the bloodshed, while his attorney says Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.
You can find full AP coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial here: https://apnews.com/hub/kyle-rittenhouse
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