In August 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse, who was 17-years-old at the time, was allegedly involved in the shooting of three people and killing two during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In a pre-trial hearing this past Monday, a judge argued against the use of “victims” when referring to those Rittenhouse is accused of harming, calling a “loaded word,” CNN reported.
However, according to NPR, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder reportedly ruled that the defense team can refer to them as “rioters,” “looters,” or “arsonists” if the evidence supports it, saying earlier this week, “Let the evidence show what the evidence shows. And 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.”
The men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse in August 2020 can potentially be referred to at his trial as “rioters” or “looters,” a Wisconsin judge said Monday while reiterating his long-held view that attorneys should not use the word “victim.” https://t.co/usyUJyc5Du
— CNN (@CNN) October 28, 2021
Schroeder added, “The word ‘victim’ is a loaded, loaded word. And I think ‘alleged victim’ is a cousin to it,” CNN reported.
Arguing against the notion, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger reportedly replied, “I think it’s the exact same issue. The terms that I’m identifying here, such as ‘rioters,’ ‘looters,’ ‘arsonists,’ are as loaded, if not more loaded, than the term ‘victim.’”
Last year, Rittenhouse allegedly went towards protests held following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was paralyzed during the incident, with a rifle in tow. Saying that, he headed towards protests to “protect businesses,” Rittenhouse said to a reporter in August 2020, “People are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business. And part of my job is to also help people. If there is somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle.”
Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 26. With his legal team arguing that he acted in self-defense, the now 18-year-old has pleaded not guilty on all charges NPR reported, including homicide and possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.
Rittenhouse’s trial will begin after jury selection takes place, which is scheduled for next week.