“I’ve talked quite a lot about the public’s confidence in the outcome of the trial,” said Judge Schroeder. “It is clear that there is a semblance of bias, and that would seriously undermine the outcome of the case.”
The jury was released, leaving eight men and 11 women on the jury, most of whom are white. Ultimately, only 12 members of the jury will discuss and deliver a verdict. In Kenosha County, home to 169,000 people, 75 percent of the population is white.
A key witness to the shooting of the first victim testified.
A jury on Thursday heard testimony from a witness who made a close-up of the first of three shootings. Mr McGinniss of the Daily Caller testified that he saw Mr Rittenhouse shoot Mr Rosenbaum, 36, before Mr McGinniss helped rush Mr Rosenbaum to the hospital across the street.
Mr. McGinniss is both a witness and a named victim. One of the charges against Mr. Rittenhouse accuses him of recklessly threatening the safety of Mr. McGinnis, who testified that he quickly checked to see if he was also injured. Mr Binger, the prosecutor, stressed that Mr Rosenbaum, who joined the demonstrations that night, was unarmed when Mr Rittenhouse shot him. Mr Binger also tried to raise doubts about Mr Rittenhouse’s defense – that he only defended himself – by raising questions about Mr Rittenhouse’s decisions that night.
Mr. Rittenhouse ran through the chaotic streets during demonstrations with a fire extinguisher and a military-grade rifle before the shooting began. Asked about this, Mr. McGinniss said: “I was not taught to handle weapons in a public place.”
Mark Richards, lawyer for Mr. Rittenhouse, suggested in his interrogation that Mr. Rosenbaum was a danger to Mr. Rittenhouse in the period prior to the shooting. Mr McGinniss told the jury that Mr Rosenbaum ran up to Mr Rittenhouse, lunged at him, and reached for Mr Rittenhouse’s pistol before Mr Rittenhouse fired. At one point, Mr. McGinniss stood up, testifying to demonstrate how Mr. Rosenbaum lunged.
The charge relied on graphic videos.
In presenting the prosecution’s account, Mr. Binger played long videos in court that were broadcast live and on mobile phones that night. Some videos show downtown Kenosha hours before the shooting, as groups of protesters and armed men detained at gas stations, churches and other buildings.