Another point of division has emerged in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. Late Monday evening, NBC News reported that a jury had been seated in the high profile trial. While the names of the jurors will not be revealed at this time, the makeup of the jury has been shared with the public. NBC News reports that 20 people were selected out of a group of 150 Wisconsin residents. Of those 20 people, 11 were identified as women and nine were identified as men. Furthermore, reports indicate that only one person of color was selected to participate in the trial. Reports describe the sole juror of color is "a man in his late 20s who told the court that he had friends with views on both sides of the matter and that a police officer from a nearby Wisconsin city was once a roommate." After the makeup of the trial was revealed, a number of observers took issue with the lack of diversity within the jury.
"The Kyle Rittenhouse jury includes only 1 person of color. White supremacy is a hell of a drug," one observer tweeted.
After the jury was seated, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce E. Schroeder told reporters that jurors will be exposed to "the real evidence in this case." He also warned that this is not a "political" trial.
Rittenhouse is currently on trial for killing two people and wounding another at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin following the shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020. He currently faces five felony charges, including homicide and reckless endangerment. The defendant has plead not guilty to all charges as his attorneys are expected to argue that he acted in self defense.
Opening arguments began Wednesday morning and the trial will likely run for approximately two weeks. Rittenhouse was seen in court yawning earlier today and is expected to appear for the remainder of the trial.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.