Rittenhouse trial hearing may resolve use-of force experts

Monday's hearing will determine whether or not use-of force experts can testify in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial. Rittenhouse was charged with shooting three people last year during a protest against Wisconsin police brutality.

Rittenhouse trial hearing may resolve use-of force experts

This hearing will be the last before Rittenhouse is tried for the shootings of Jacob Blake on Aug. 25, 2020 in Kenosha. It happened two days after Rittenhouse, a white officer responding to a domestic disturbance, shot Blake in the back.

Antioch, Illinois' Rittenhouse was one of many people who responded to social media calls to arms and to come to Kenosha in support of the protests. Rittenhouse, a white man, is being charged with homicide as well as other crimes in the shooting deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and the wounding Gaige Grosskreutz.

Rittenhouse's lawyers are asking John Black, a use-of force expert, to testify on their behalf that Rittenhouse acted in self defense. Prosecutors asked Judge Bruce Schroeder not to disqualify Black. He argued that Black's expertise is in civilian use of force, and not police. This is irrelevant to Rittenhouse’s actions.

Black showed his testimony during a hearing held in October. Robert Willis, an expert in the use of force who Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said would testify at Monday's hearing, will be present.

Schroeder must decide on other motions before the trial. One motion from prosecutors asks Schroeder not to allow defense attorneys to describe Rittenhouse's three white victims as rioters or looters. Binger claims there is no evidence that any of them were involved in such activities on the night they were killed.

Prosecutors want Schroeder also to stop any mention of Rosenbaum's or Huber's criminal records.

They also want to prevent the defense from presenting any evidence that Rittenhouse or other armed citizens was offered water by police, or that they said to Rittenhouse, "We appreciate your guys, we really do," in their place.

Mark Richards, Rittenhouse's attorney, argued that such testimony was relevant in determining whether Rittenhouse acted recklessly by being on Kenosha streets that night with a weapon.

Richards stated in a motion that "if the conduct was so clearly dangerous, it seems logical for law enforcement to either remove the defendant from the scene via arrest or inform him that he was to depart the area because of the actions." They did neither."

Many conservatives have rallied around Rittenhouse to support him, calling him a patriot, making him a symbol of gun rights and raising $2million for his bail. Some liberals and activists portray him as a domestic terrorist and claim he made an already volatile situation more dangerous.

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