Rittenhouse shouted “Friendly!” to chase

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Kyle Rittenhouse shouted “Friendly! Friendly! Friendly!” as he was chased by a man he eventually shot during street protests against racial injustice, a police detective testified – in a confrontation the defense described as “the ambush classic”.

The video took center stage on Wednesday during the trial of the Illinois man in the shooting of three men – two fatally – after Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha in August 2020 with a medical kit and a rifle in what he says is an effort to protect property from damaging riots.

Jurors watched infrared video taken by an FBI surveillance plane nearly 9,000 feet above where Rittenhouse shot 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum. With colored circles superimposed over the video identifying the movements of the two men far below, Kenosha Police Detective Martin Howard agreed with defense attorney Mark Richards that Rittenhouse repeatedly shouted “Friendly! ” as he was being chased – and Rosenbaum seemed to be gaining ground on Rittenhouse.

Richards also described how Rosenbaum got out from behind a car to meet Rittenhouse before the shooting, telling the detective, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but this looks like the classic ambush.”

After prosecutors objected, Richards said, “Mr. Rosenbaum is hiding when my client arrives, isn’t he? »

“It seems so,” Howard replied.

Testimony was scheduled to continue Thursday.

Rittenhouse, now 18, could face life in prison if convicted in the politically polarizing case that has sparked furious debate over self-defense, vigilantism, the right to bear arms and the racial unrest that erupted in the United States after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other similar cases.

The young man traveled to Kenosha from his home in Illinois after violent protests erupted following the shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer. Rittenhouse said he went there to protect property after two nights in which rioters set fires to and ransacked businesses.

Prosecutors described him as the instigator of the bloodshed, while his lawyer said he acted in self-defense after Rosenbaum tried to grab his gun and others in the crowd kicked him in the face and hit him in the head with a skateboard.

In one video, footage shows a man – Rosenbaum – chasing Rittenhouse and throwing a plastic bag at him just before the man was shot. Someone is heard shouting “F— you!”, followed by the sounds of the four shots fired by Rittenhouse, though the actual shot itself is not clearly seen on camera.

“Oh, he shot her! He shot him, man. He shot him. He shot him, man. He exposed it,” the person making the video can be heard saying.

Footage shown to the jury also showed Rosenbaum lying on the ground as frantic passers-by surrounded him to help. He had a head injury and a passerby placed a shirt over it to apply pressure.

In the courtroom, Rittenhouse – seated in the crosshairs of jurors – kept his eyes fixed on a desktop screen and showed no emotion as video showed him walking down a street with his gun and shooting on protesters, people scattering and shouting.

Many of the videos played in court were found by police on social media sites, where many images were live-streamed or quickly posted after the bloodshed, and many scenes were familiar to those following the case.

Howard, the detective, details the injuries Rittenhouse suffered that night, all apparently minor: a half-inch scratch above his eyebrow, a small cut inside his lower lip, a scratch from 2 inches below his collarbone, a 2 inch scratch on his forearm, a scratch on his back, and two penny-sized bumps on his head.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger insisted that Rosenbaum was apparently unarmed, asking Howard if any of the videos shown in court indicated that Rosenbaum had a weapon of any kind. Howard answered no.

“No weapon? Binger asked.

“I can only see a plastic bag he’s carrying,” Howard said.

“So no weapon?” Binger asked.

“No,” Howard replied, repeating the answer when Binger also asked him if Rosenbaum was carrying a knife, a bat, or a club.

Richards objected during cross-examination, asking Howard what could happen if a gun was taken from someone.

“It can be used against them as a deadly and dangerous weapon, can’t it?” Richards asked.

“Correct,” Howard replied.

Jurors put their notepads aside and kept their eyes glued to courtroom monitors at various points in the videos, most capturing the chaos of the violence and some showing graphic images of Rosenbaum after he was shot.

Moments after shooting Rosenbaum, 36, Rittenhouse shot and killed Anthony Huber, 26, a protester from Silver Lake, Wisconsin, who was seen on passing video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard.

Rittenhouse then injured Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, a protester from West Allis, Wisconsin, who had a gun in her hand as he walked towards Rittenhouse.

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