A juror who had been selected to decide the fate of Kyle Rittenhouse was dismissed from the trial Thursday after it was revealed he had made a joke about the police shooting of Jacob Blake to a sheriff's deputy earlier this week.
Rittenhouse is currently being tried on several felony homicide counts linked to a shooting that left two people dead amid protests that sprung up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following Blake's shooting in August 2020.
According to Scripps station TMJ4 in Milwaukee, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said Thursday that the juror told the deputy, "Why did Kenosha Police shoot Jacob Blake seven times? They ran out of bullets."
Bringer claimed that the statement showed racial bias.
Judge Bruce Schroeder then dismissed the juror from the 12-person panel.
"The public needs to be confident this is a fair trial," Schroeder said.
He added the joke showed "at the very least, bad judgment."
On Monday, Rittenhouse's trial opened with the selection of 20 people to serve as jurors — 12 regular jurors and eight alternates. One of the alternates will presumably take the dismissed juror's place.
Rittenhouse was 17 when he traveled from his home in northern Illinois to Kenosha during the protests. He claims he went to Kenosha to help business owners protect against looting that was taking place amid the protests.
During the protests, Rittenhouse shot and killed protesters Anthony M. Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum during those demonstrations and injured one other person. His defense team has argued that he fired in self-defense after protesters surrounded him.
This story was originally published by Scripps station TMJ4 in Milwaukee.