Prosecutors show videos of shootings in Wisconsin
KENOSHA, Wisconsin – Prosecutors got right to the heart of the matter on day three of the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial: more than a dozen videos of a four-block stretch of Sheridan Road recorded the night Rittenhouse killed two people and injured a third.
Or was it the heart of the defense?
Rittenhouse’s attorneys claim he acted in self-defense and will feature much of the same video when they claim he had no choice but to fire eight shots with his type rifle. AR-15.
Retail Kenosha Police Officer Martin Howard testified on Wednesday about how quickly he and other investigators collected the mostly amateur videos on social media, where they were shared widely within hours of the shooting.
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Some of the 20 jurors appeared disturbed when close-ups were shown outside the court of Joseph Rosenbaum, motionless on the sidewalk, as increasing numbers of protesters arrived and shouted.
At least two live streamers later returned to where Rosenbaum was shot to capture footage of his blood.
Howard also featured an enhanced clip of FBI infrared aerial surveillance footage. The clip has been embellished with branding to highlight Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum’s moments before filming.
This is meant to support the prosecution theory that Rittenhouse was chasing Rosenbaum, before they swapped roles and Rittenhouse ran away from Rosenbaum.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Mark Richards revealed the same video with the defense’s own enhancements, in different colors, which he says shows Rosenbaum on the prowl.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like a classic ambush, doesn’t it?” He asked Howard.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger objected and said it appeared Rosenbaum was hiding among cars in the Car Source parking lot at 63rd Street.
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Richards also asked Howard how police could miss a pair of cartridge cases that a resident found four days later under a car, near where Rosenbaum was fatally shot.
“Evidence technicians gathered what they observed that night,” Howard said.
Richards noted that although police obtained a search warrant for the contents of Gaige Grosskreutz’s cell phone last September, they never served it. Authorities never downloaded data from the phone, although they did so on devices owned by almost everyone else they felt was involved or could identify or trace.
Grosskreutz, 27, of West Allis, was the last person to be shot by Rittenhouse.
Howard said police and prosecutors feared at the last minute it would violate Marsy’s Law, an amendment to Wisconsin’s victims rights law approved by voters in April 2020.
Jurors also heard from Koerrie Washington, a longtime Kenosha resident and social media influencer who live streamed Hours of Trouble on the second day of testimony after Monday’s jury selection.
“There was a lot going on,” he told the jury, when Binger asked him why he was out that night. “I wanted to help create transparency, so there is a recording of things.”
He said he and other influencers, bloggers and activists who videotaped protests complement traditional media coverage and “make it better for everyone.”
He was out again two nights later, when Rittenhouse was among the crowd. Binger played part of the Washington video that night of a conflict at the gas station on Sheridan Road. The man Rittenhouse would kill minutes later, Joshua Rosenbaum, 36, was extremely agitated towards other armed men with guns, demanding that they shoot him.
Washington answered “no” to Binger’s questions about whether someone had shot a gun and beat someone.
“As far as I can remember, there were a lot of speeches, passionate speeches, conversations that took place.” Washington testified. Binger asked if this had led to violence.
“Maybe there were nudges.” Washington said.
Binger was trying to support his opening statement that, among the hundreds of other people in chaos that night, only Rittenhouse shot someone.
Washington said he made a mental note of Rittenhouse as he appeared to be wearing an assault rifle, blue latex gloves and chain cigarettes.
“He looked nervous, uncertain. But I guess a lot of people were” that night. “It’s not an affront to him. A little while later, when he saw Rittenhouse go by with a fire extinguisher, he followed and continued to record.