The three men shot dead by Kyle Rittenhouse during a protest against police brutality can be characterized as rioters, looters, or arsonists if the teenager’s defense team has evidence to support the characterizations – but they don’t. should not be called victims, the Wisconsin judge said in the Rittenhouse murder trial. this week.
The ruling was part of the ground rules Kenosha County Judge Bruce E. Schroeder set for the trial on Monday, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 1.
Rittenhouse, 18, was charged with manslaughter and attempted homicide after they shot Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz in Kenosha during protests following the shooting of Jacob Blake , a black man, by a white policeman. officer.
He has pleaded not guilty to all counts and is free on bail.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, used a semi-automatic rifle that resembles the AR-15 designed for the military. He said he was attacked, acted in self-defense and attended the August 25, 2020 protests to help protect businesses from looters.
Deputy prosecutor Thomas Binger had asked the judge to ban the defense from describing the men who were shot in derogatory language.
On Monday, the judge reiterated his long-standing policy against using the word victim in his criminal trials until there is a conviction. He said the term is “loaded” with prejudice.
Binger, the prosecutor, argued that the terms rioters, looters and arsonists “are charged, if not more”, than “victim”.
“You did not let me call someone a victim when it has been proven,” he told the judge.
Binger said what the three men were doing before they were shot had nothing to do with their confrontations with Rittenhouse and his decision to open fire. He argued that the accused did not see the three doing anything criminal when he shot them.
The prosecutor did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Lawyers for the families of the two killed men and Grosskreutz also did not respond.
Grosskreutz, who has not been charged with any crime, earlier this month filed a lawsuit against the city, county and law enforcement alleging that Kenosha officials authorized a “group of security guards white nationalists “during the demonstration.
A spokesperson representing the city and the police department declined to comment, but a lawyer representing Kenosha County and the sheriff called the allegations false.
“The lawsuit also fails to acknowledge that Mr Grosskreutz himself was armed with a gun when he was shot and Mr Grosskreutz did not take legal action against the person who shot him,” attorney Sam Hall said.