A juror in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial was dismissed Thursday (November 4) after he made a joke about the police shooting of Jacob Blake last August. The shooting spurred national protests which led a then-17-year-old Rittenhouse to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin from Illinois where he shot and killed two people and injured another.
According to CNN, the male juror made the joke while being escorted to his car by a deputy.
"I'm going to summarize what I remember, what I was told," Judge Bruce Schroeder said in court. "He was telling a joke ... he told the officer ... he made a reference about telling a joke about 'Why did it take seven shots to shoot Jacob Blake,' something to that effect."
Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger had strong feelings about the joke and incident overall.
"The joke is in bad taste, there are a plethora of bad jokes out there with everything to do with all this, this is one of them. But I think the rest of this joke, as it were, suggests some sort of racial bias which I think comes into play," Binger said.
The juror was called back into court to undergo questioning, in which he admitted to telling the joke, but wouldn't repeat it on the record.
"It had nothing to do with the case," he told the judge. "It was nothing to do with Kyle and his charges," the juror added.
Ultimately, the judge dismissed him from duty. "The public needs to be confident that this is a fair trial," Schroeder said in the decision.
The case gained national attention and comes more than a year since two people were gunned down by Rittenhouse, who has pleaded not guilty in the trial. His team of lawyers are building a case of self-defense.
Blake was left paralyzed by the shooting.
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