KENOSHA, WIS. — A juror in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse was dismissed on Thursday for telling a joke to a deputy at the courthouse a day earlier.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger told the court that his understanding of the joke was that it went something like, “Why did the Kenosha police shoot Jacob Blake seven times? Because they ran out of bullets.”
Blake, a black man, was left paralyzed after he was shot seven times by a white Kenosha police officer in August of last year. The city devolved into rioting over the police shooting, during which Rittenhouse came to Kenosha with his gun to protect local businesses and ended up shooting three men.
The prosecutor said the prosecution disapproved of the joke and wanted the juror removed.
Judge Bruce Schroeder questioned the juror, an older white man who uses a scooter to move around, about the joke and asked him to repeat it, but he refused.
“It had nothing to do with the case,” the juror said.
The juror was dismissed from the jury, leaving the remaining 19 jurors to hear the rest of the case.
The trial entered its fourth day on Thursday, the third day of testimony. The trial is expected to last between two and three weeks.
Rittenhouse has pled not guilty to charges of homicide and attempted homicide as well as unlawful possession of a weapon for shooting three people last year during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
His attorneys argue that he shot in self-defense.
Rittenhouse, now 18, went to Kenosha on August 25 last year when he was 17 with the intention of protecting businesses from looting and vandalism. He armed himself with a Smith & Wesson M&P15, which is an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle that police say his friend illegally bought for him, as well as a medical kit.
On Thursday, jurors heard testimony from Richie McGinniss, the Daily Caller’s chief video editor, who was near Rittenhouse when he shot the first man, Joseph Rosenbaum, and tried to help Rosenbaum as he lay dying. Rosenbaum appeared in the footage to be chasing and gaining on Rittenhouse before he was shot.
Shortly afterwards, Rittenhouse tripped and fell as protesters chased him. While he was still on the ground, he fatally shot a second man Anthony Huber and then shot and injured a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz. His attorneys argued, pointing to video evidence, that protesters were kicking Rittenhouse in the face, trying to take his gun, and said Huber hit him in the head with a skateboard.
On Wednesday, the jury was shown more than a dozen videos of the shootings as well as the events leading up to and following the shootings. Some of the videos contained graphic content, including Rosenbaum bleeding on the ground and Grosskreutz screaming as his arm bled. Several jurors appeared visibly disturbed as they watched the videos.