Thursday, March 30, 2023

Prosecutors show Rittenhouse trial jurors video of protests

Kenosha, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors played video for a jury Wednesday in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial, which captured the repeated sound of gunfire in the streets as they resumed the night, with Rittenhouse in a raging attack against police. Three people were shot during the demonstration, two fatally, brutally.

In a bystander video livestreamed that night by Koeri Washington, a social media influencer from Kenosha, Rittenhouse can be seen running through the frame with a fire extinguisher.

Washington said he had seen 17-year-old Rittenhouse earlier that evening.

“He just seemed kind of young to me,” Washington said. “And he had these gloves on and he was smoking cigarettes and stuff. … He seemed like an interesting person, so I just stared at him. It was nothing, I wouldn’t say malicious, just a A young man in position.”

According to officials, shortly after Rittenhouse was sighted, the video captures the sound of a gunshot being fired into the air by someone in the crowd. The defense said the shot made Rittenhouse think he was under attack.

This was followed by four quick shots, which prosecutor Thomas Binger said Rittenhouse fired at Joseph Rosenbaum, who was the first person killed that night. After a brief pause, three more gunshots can be heard; Prosecutors said it was not clear who fired them.

Washington, who was on a skateboard, said that when he heard the shots, he “steered away to safety.”

Rittenhouse, now 18, has been accused of firing an assault-style rifle during the summer of 2020 in a politically polarizing case that has sparked fierce debates over self-defense, vigilance, the right to bear arms and racial unrest. Which spread to America after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other similar cases.

Rittenhouse, once a young police cadet, could face a life sentence if convicted.

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Teenager travels from her home in Illinois to Kenosha after violent protests over the shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer. Rittenhouse said he was there to protect the property after two nights in which rioters set fires and ransacked businesses.

During initial statements on Tuesday, prosecutors portrayed him as an inciter of bloodshed, while his lawyer argued he acted in self-defense. When Rosenbaum tried to grab his gun and others in the crowd kicked him in the face and hit him on the head with skateboards.

A Kenosha detective took the stand Wednesday and Rittenhouse suffered extensive injuries that night, which all seemed minor: a scratch about a half-inch above her eyebrow, a small cut on the inside of her lower lip, 2 inches below her collarbone. Key scratches, a 2-inch bruise on his forearm, a bruise on his back, and two penny-sized bumps on his head.

When testified on the level of violence at the Kenosha protests, several jurors began to deduce broader notes, in which protesters threw fireballs and stones on the night of the shooting.

Several members of the jury looked particularly attentive when a defense lawyer during cross-examination played video of dozens of cars in a used car the day before the shooting. Prosecutors have insisted on the absence of deadly violence other than Rittenhouse, on the night of the murders.

The first witness at the trial was a friend who testified that Rittenhouse was pale, “walking out” and having a “really scared” moment after the three men were shot. Rittenhouse said she had to do it because “people were trying to hurt her,” said witness Dominic Black.

Black, who was dating Rittenhouse’s sister at the time, faces his trial for buying 17-year-old Rittenhouse an AR-15-style rifle he was not old enough to legally keep.

Black testified that he and Rittenhouse had armed themselves and traveled to downtown Kenosha to help protect a car dealership after the vehicles were torched the night before. He also said that Rittenhouse helped deliver medical aid and put out the fire.

Moments after shooting Rosenbaum, 36, Rittenhouse shot and killed 26-year-old Anthony Huber, a protester in Silver Lake, Wisconsin, who was seen on bystander video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard.

Defense attorney Mark Richards portrayed Rittenhouse as the victim, saying that Rosenbaum “lit the fuse that night” and that Huber was “trying to separate the head from the body” with a skateboard.

Rittenhouse wounded 27-year-old Gage Groskretz, a protester from West Allis, Wisconsin, with a gun in his hand, as he headed toward Rittenhouse.


Forlity reported from Minneapolis; Weber reported from Fenton, Michigan. Associated Press writer Scott Bauer contributed from Madison, Wisconsin.


Get the AP’s full coverage on Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial:


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