Prosecutors are looking to block Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense from referring to the three men he shot as “looters” and “rioters.” They are also trying to block evidence at trial where an officer told Rittenhouse “we appreciate you.”
Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger filed a motion on Monday asking Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder to prohibit Rittenhouse’s lawyers from referring to the past criminal history of any of the three men who Rittenhouse shot on August 25, 2020.
The motion also asks Schroeder to prohibit the defense from referring to any pending lawsuits related to the case and from referring to any of the three men in “pejorative” terms.
Binger said those pejorative terms include “rioters, looters, arsonists” and other similar terms. The motion asks that everyone in the case is referred to by their last name.
Prosecutors also asked in the motion that Schroeder block evidence from being admitted by the defense that shows a law enforcement officer provided water to Rittenhouse and told him and others “we appreciate you guys, we really do” on the night of the shootings.
“The state anticipates that the defense will seek to introduce evidence that an anonymous law enforcement officer made a statement somehow approving the defendant’s actions that night. Any such statement is irrelevant hearsay,” Binger said.
“The state also anticipates that the defense will seek to introduce evidence that an anonymous law enforcement officer told the defendant or his associates that police were going to let them handle the crowd. Again, any such statement is irrelevant hearsay,” Binger added.
On October 5, an expert witness testified during a court hearing that he believes Rittenhouse was justified by defending himself during the Kenosha shootings.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers filed a request with the court for John R. Black, an expert witness, to testify at Rittenhouse’s trial, which is scheduled for November 1.
Black appeared by Zoom at the in-person hearing on October 5, which began at around 10 a.m. and concluded around 2 p.m.
Black said he believes Rittenhouse’s actions on the night of August 25, 2020, meet the Wisconsin statute for self-defense.
The defense and prosecutors both asked Black dozens of questions during the hearing.
Schroeder said he would leave the door open to allow Black and an expert witness on the prosecution side to testify at the November 1 trial.
One of Rittenhouse’s attorneys, Corey Chirafisi, briefly argued for the court to consider a motion to have count six — possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 — to be dismissed.
Schroeder denied the motion. The October 5 hearing is scheduled to continue on October 25.