A white juror in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial has been dismissed after telling a sheriff’s deputy a joke about the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Ahead of the third day of testimony in the murder trial, where the teen is accused of killing two people and injuring and third amid a protest over Blake’s Aug. 2020 shooting, prosecutors asked Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder to dismiss “Juror 7.” The reason: They learned he told a joke that suggests “racial bias” to a deputy who was escorting him to his car earlier this week. According to prosecutors, the joke was something roughly similar to: Why did it take them seven shots to kill Jacob Blake? Because the Kenosha Police only had seven bullets. (Blake, a Black father who was shot in front of his kids, in fact survived the shooting, but was paralyzed from the waist down.)
In front of Schroeder, the juror on Thursday declined to repeat the joke—but insisted that “my feeling is that it [the joke] has nothing to do with this case and with Kyle and his seven charges.” Nonetheless, Schroeder concluded that the “best thing under the circumstances is to dismiss” the juror from the trial that now has a 19-person jury panel (and only one individual of color). “It was really bad judgment to tell a joke of that nature,” Schroeder added.