KENOSHA (Wis.) -- Thursday's dismissal of a juror in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial came after a court security guard reported that the man made a joke about Jacob Blake's police shooting, which triggered protests in the Wisconsin town where Rittenhouse is charged with shooting three people.
Bruce Schroeder , Kenosha County Circuit Judge, said that the remarks were made by a security guard earlier in the week. Thomas Binger, the prosecutor, said that the comments were shared and showed racial bias. Blake, a Black Kenosha officer, shot him and left him partially paralyzed.
Schroeder called the jury into courtroom to discuss his remarks. The juror refused to repeat them. Schroeder stated that it was clear that there was bias and it would seriously undercut the outcome of this case. He also said that the juror would not be dismissed.
Rittenhouse (18), Antioch, Illinois, was the victim of two fatalities and one injury during a protest against police brutality in Kenosha. Protests began after a police officer shot Blake in his back responding to a domestic disturbance report. Blake was fighting with officers and was carrying a knife. The officer was later not charged by the county prosecutor.
Twenty jurors were seated this week in Rittenhouse’s trial on murder and other charges, with Schroeder stating that he would later decide which 12 would decide the case as well as which alternates.
Rittenhouse, who claimed he was there to protect businesses from protesters on that night, could face life imprisonment if convicted in this politically divisive case. Rittenhouse has been accused of being the instigator in the bloodshed. However, Rittenhouse's lawyer claims that Rittenhouse acted in self defense.