Growing anger at Judge Bruce Schroeder after not guilty verdicts reached
The judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse “virtually demanded” the jury find him not guilty and oversaw a blatant miscarriage of justice, the Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor says.
Mandela Barnes criticsed Judge Bruce Schroeder’s conduct after 18-year-old Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts at the end of his homicide trial in Kenosha on Friday.
“Over the last few weeks, many dreaded the outcome we just witnessed,” Mr Barnes said in statement.
“The presumption of innocence until proven guilty is what we should expect from our judicial system, but that standard is not always applied equally.
We have a difficult road to justice in America, and the verdicts we just witnessed in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial are just another example. While we can easily view this as a setback, we have to transform this moment. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/Ru4ZCcJ3T6
— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) November 19, 2021
“We have seen so many Black and brown youth killed, only to be put on trial posthumously, while the innocence of Kyle Rittenhouse was virtually demanded by the judge.”
MSNBC host Joy Reid said the judge was “the 13th juror”.
In the Rittenhouse case, the 13th juror was the judge.
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) November 19, 2021
Follow the latest Kyle Rittenhouse trial news here
Colin Kaepernick said the verdicts were the result of a racist justice system.
“We just witnessed a system built on white supremacy validate the terroristic acts of a white supremacist,” the former NFL star said on Twitter.
“This only further validates the need to abolish our current system. White supremacy cannot be reformed.”
We just witnessed a system built on white supremacy validate the terroristic acts of a white supremacist.
This only further validates the need to abolish our current system. White supremacy cannot be reformed.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 19, 2021
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez echoed Kaepernick’s statement in a post to her 13 million Twitter followers.
“What we are witnessing is a system functioning as designed and protecting those it was designed for.”
What we are witnessing is a system functioning as designed and protecting those it was designed for.
My heart still breaks for the communities and families whose grief now compounds, and the countless others who will be denied and deprived in similar scenes across the country.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 19, 2021
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also slammed the not guilty verdict.
“Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum are victims,” he wrote on Twitter, calling Rittenhouse a “violent, dangerous man”.
“To call this a miscarriage justice is an understatement.”
Judge Schroeder, 75, became a controversial figure during the highly-charged trial.
He banned prosecutors from calling Mr Huber and Mr Rosenbaum victims during the trial.
Concerns were also raised when the judge joked about whether the food would arrive on time as the court was set to adjourn for lunch last week.
“I hope the Asian food isn’t coming … isn’t on one of those boats from Long Beach Harbor,” he said.
“A black, the black, the only black” — what is wrong with this man pic.twitter.com/oEr4naGS5Z
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 17, 2021
The judge appeared to stumble over his words and make long statements to the jury that had little to do with the proceedings during the three week trial.
He dismissed a charge of possession of a weapon by a minor as the jury was set to retire to consider the verdicts.
A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on charges of homicide, attempted homicide and recklessly endangering safety during a night of violent protests in Kenosha last summer.
He argued he had acted in self defense.
Judge Schroeder was first elected to the bench in 1983 and is the longest-serving circuit judge in Wisconsin.