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4 Nov, 2021 17:39

Rittenhouse juror dismissed for joke about police shooting of Jacob Blake

Rittenhouse juror dismissed for joke about police shooting of Jacob Blake

A juror in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial has been excused after joking to a sheriff’s deputy about the 2020 police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse is on trial for killing two men at protests sparked by Blake’s shooting.

Day four of Rittenhouse’s trial in Kenosha, Washington, began with the joke in question being addressed as prosecutors asked that someone identified as ‘Juror 7’ be dismissed. The juror confirmed the joke had been told, but insisted it had nothing to do with the Rittenhouse case. 

“Why did it take them seven shots to kill Jacob Blake? Because the Kenosha Police only had seven bullets,” was a rough version of the joke, related by prosecutors. 

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Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said he was particularly offended by the “bad taste” joke and said it represented “some sort of racial bias.”

Blake was shot seven times by police on August 23, 2020, leaving him paralyzed. 

Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder asked the juror to repeat the joke, which the juror declined to do. He was then “excused” from the trial after the judge called the joke “bad judgement.”

“The public needs to be confident that this is a fair trial,” Schroeder told the juror before dismissing him on Thursday. 

Rittenhouse is being tried for homicide and reckless endangerment after shooting and killing two men – and injuring a third – during a massive protest on August 25, 2020, over Blake’s shooting. Rittenhouse has claimed he acted in self-defense. 

Some critics have already blasted elements of Rittenhouse’s trial, noting that the jury contains only one non-white juror. The latest controversy over ‘Juror 7’ has apparently only added to those concerns about the jury.

“Is the Rittenhouse trial a joke?” one Twitter user asked.

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