Demonstrators shot by Kyle Rittenhouse CANNOT be referred to as “victims” but can be called “looters” or “rioters”, judge rules

A Wisconsin judge ruled on Monday that the people shot by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha last year cannot be referred to as “victims” at trial, but may be referred to as “rioters”, “looters”, or “arsonists”.

The ruling by Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder allows the three people shot by Rittenhouse as “looters”, “rioters”, or “arsonists” only if the defense can produce evidence to prove the men participated in such crimes. The three men, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, who were killed, and Gaige Grosskreutz, who was injured, may not be referred to as “victims”, according to the judge’s ruling, because part of what the jury must answer in this trial is whether Rittenhouse acted in self-defense against the men.

The judge called the term “loaded” and said in court “I think ‘alleged victim’ is a cousin to it.” The judge also said that Mark Richards, one of Rittenhouse’s attorneys, could “demonize [the three men who were shot] if he wants, if he thinks it will win points with the jury,” according to the Chicago Tribune, who broke the story.

Prosecution lawyer Thomas Binger called the decision by Schroeder a “double standard” and told NPR, “”Let the evidence show what the evidence shows…if the evidence shows that any or more than one of these people were engaged in arson, rioting, or looting — then I’m not going to tell the defense they can’t call them that.”

Binger and his team also argued in court on Monday to disallow the defense to bring as evidence a video showing Kenosha police interacting with Rittenhouse on the night in question, and shows the police thanking Rittenhouse and some others for their presence and handing them water bottles. The prosecution argued the video might make the trial about what law enforcement did or did not do that night, instead of what the defendant did.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings but was tried as an adult, will face two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of attempted homicide, recklessly endangering the safety of two other victims and possessing a weapon while under the age of 18. Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The trial is scheduled to begin November 1.

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