by Amy Forlitti, Tammy Webber and Michael Turm
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Two and a half seconds before the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting began in the streets of Kenosha, someone in the crowd fired a shot in the air, a detective testified on Thursday at Rittenhouse’s murder trial.
The defense said the shot made Rittenhouse think he was under attack.
Rittenhouse, 18, is accused of shooting three people, two of whom died in the summer of 2020 from Joseph Rosenbaum. The aspiring police officer, then 17, went to Kenosha with a rifle and a medical kit. The riots that broke out during the police firing of a black man was an attempt to protect property from damage.
Prosecutors portray Rittenhouse as the instigator of the bloodshed, while his attorney has argued that Rosenbaum tried to hold his gun and that others in the crowd kicked him in the face and hit him in the head with a skateboard. .
Video came to the center again on Thursday, when Kenosha detective Martin Howard testified that footage showed a protester, Joshua Ziminsky, fired the first shot into the air. Howard said he used a stopwatch and timed five or six videos and determined that 2.5 seconds later, Rittenhouse began firing at Rosenbaum.
Several videos have been played in the court, in which a series of violent demonstrations and shootings have been captured.
On Wednesday, Howard testified that Rittenhouse shouted “Friendly! Friendly! Friendly!” As was being followed by Rosenbaum. Howard also agreed with defense attorney Mark Richards that Rosenbaum was acquiring land on Rittenhouse.
Richards also recounted how Rosenbaum came out of the back of a car to meet Rittenhouse before the shooting, telling the detective: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like a classic ambush.”
After prosecutors protested, Richards said: “Mr. Rosenbaum has gone into hiding as soon as my client arrives, isn’t he?”
“It appears, yes,” replied Howard.
Before testimony resumed on Thursday, the judge dismissed a juror who earlier this week made a joke to a court security officer about the police shooting of Jacob Blake — the black man whose wounding caused Kenosha. The protest had started. The jury member, a retired man, refused to repeat the joke for the judge.
“It is clear that the presence of bias exists and would seriously undermine the outcome of the case,” Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder said.
Rittenhouse could face life in prison if convicted of a politically polarizing count that has sparked fierce debates over self-defense, vigilantism, the right to bear arms and the racial unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other cases. had spread to America. I like this.
On Thursday, prosecutor Thomas Binger took home the assertion that Rosenbaum was apparently unarmed, asking Howard whether any video shown in court indicated Rosenbaum had a weapon of any kind. Howard did not answer.
“No gun?” Binger asked.
“I can only see a plastic bag he’s carrying,” Howard said.
“So no guns?” asked Binger.
“No,” replied Howard, who repeated the answer over and over when Binger also asked him whether Rosenbaum had taken a knife, a bat, or a club.
But Richards asked Howard at cross-examination what could happen if someone took a weapon from him. “It can be used against them as a deadly and dangerous weapon, right?” Defense lawyer asked.
“Right,” Howard replied.
Moments after the Rosenbaum shooting, Rittenhouse shot and killed 26-year-old Anthony Huber, a Silver Lake, Wisconsin protester who was seen on bystander video hitting Rittenhouse 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: https://apnews.com/hub/kyle-rittenhouse