Kyle Rittenhouse Looked Away While Jury Watched Graphic Video of Shooting Death

Kyle Rittenhouse had to look away when graphic video showing one of the victims dying after being shot was shown in court.
Mack Lamoureux
Toronto, CA
November 4, 2021, 3:51pm
Prosecutors and Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense attorney painstakingly took the jury through  multiple videos, including one from an overhead FBI drone, of the shooting that left two people dead.
Kyle Rittenhouse and his attorneys watch videos of him in Kenosha in August 2020, during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 3, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.(Photo by Mark Hertzberg-Pool/Getty Images)

Prosecutors and Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense attorney painstakingly took the jury through  multiple videos, including one from an overhead FBI drone, of the shooting that left two people dead. 

The August 25, 2020 live streams chronicled the hours before, the moments of, and the moments after Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz during a protest against racial injustice in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The videos showed everything from Rittenhouse portraying himself as a medic to the graphic video of Rosenbaum dying from several gunshot wounds. 

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The 18-year-old has been charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide, one count of first-degree intentional homicide, and one count of first-degree attempted intentional homicide, along with a number of lesser charges. The then-17-year-old Rittenhouse travelled 20 miles from his home in Antioch, Illinois to the rally to protect a car dealership with an assault rifle bought for him by his sister's boyfriend. 

Rittenhouse has claimed he shot the men out of self-defense, with his lawyer saying they attacked him “like an animal” during the protests, which took place after a local police officer shot and partially paralyzed a Black man. Prosecutors have painted Rittenhouse as an outside agitator and noted out of all the protesters in Kenosha, he is the only person to have killed anyone.  

Throughout Wednesday’s court session the jury heard the testimony of livestreamer Koerri Washington and Kenosha Police Department Detective Martin Howard. For the most part, the prosecutors and defense attorneys were non-combative with the witnesses. 

When prosecutors got to the videos which contained graphic video of Rosenbaum dying from a several gunshot wounds, Rittenhouse was seen fidgeting in his seat. One reporter from inside the courtroom said the teenager actively looked away from the screen while the graphic images were displayed. 

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Aside from being treated to an in-depth viewing of videos from the night, the jury also heard that Rittenhouse yelled “friendly, friendly” when being chased by Rosenbaum through a parking lot and that a man shot a gun in the air two-and-a-half seconds prior to when Rittenhouse shot and killed Rossenbaum. They were also shown an unreleased video, shot from a FBI drone that was surveilling protestors that evening, which showed Rosenbaum pursuing Rittenhouse. Defense Attorney Mark Richards described the chase as a “classic ambush.” During the prior day’s opening arguments, prosecutor Thomas Binger said that Rosenbaum pursued Rittenhouse after a group altercation. 

The difference between the prosecutor's and defense’s description of the case reflects how polarizing it is outside of the walls of the Wisconsin courtroom. On the left, Rittenhouse is seen as a young man who was out looking for bloodshed in Kenosha that evening, whereas, on the right, he’s viewed as someone who killed in self-defense and in some far-right corners, Rittenhouse is actively treated as a hero

Judge Bruce Schroeder, once again took centre stage in the trial a few times during the day, particularly when he took time to rant about the media during an aside. At first he took issue with how a decision he made years ago was being scrutinized by current media covering the case—”I was right,” he stated defiantly. Afterwards, Schroeder signalled out the coverage of his decision to ban the words “victims” to describe those who were shot by Rittenhouse and was upset that CNN pundits called the decision a “really unnecessary and unfortunate beginning to this really important case.”

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“There are people in the media, on reputable sites, that are saying things that are totally bizarre,” Schroeder said. 

The judge’s actions were viewed through the same lens as Rittenhouse. On the right, Schroeder was a heroic judge rightfully lambasting a crooked media. On the left it was more evidence of a perceived pro-Rittenhouse bias shown by the judge.

While Schroeder was lecturing the prosecutor for using sound while playing a livestream—the videographer was editorializing about those at the rally—he said that this may be “the most divisive trial in the country” and reinforced the importance for it to be seen as impartial. 

“Anything that undermines public confidence in what happens here is very important,” Schroeder said. “It’s important for this town. It’s important for this country to have people have confidence in the result of this trial. Whatever it is—and I don’t care what it is—but people have to be confident.”

If found guilty Rittenhouse could receive a life sentence in prison. The trial continues later this morning with more witnesses being interviewed.

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