The judge in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a riot last year, warned prospective jurors of an abundance of “irresponsible and sloppy journalism” around the case.
Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder spoke to a number of potential jurors during the jury selection process on Monday. Schroeder outlined what would be expected of the jury in the case and warned potential jurors about the “very political” nature the case had taken on in the press.
“This case has become very political. It was involved in the politics of the last election year. To this day you can go out now and read things from all across the political spectrum about this case, most of which is written by people who know nothing,” Schroeder said. “I don’t mean that they are know nothings, I mean that they don’t know what you’re going to know, those of you who are selected for this jury, who are going to hear for yourselves the real evidence in this case.”
“There is something called the First Amendment, that’s another part of our Constitution, where they guarantee the right of a free press, and it’s the price we pay for having a free press is a lot of irresponsible and sloppy journalism,” the judge continued. “This is not an attack on the media. I’ve read things about this case that were perfect, perfectly stated what had happened in this court. And there were things, I think ‘was I in the courtroom when that happened?’”
Schroeder went on to warn that journalism from “respectable media outlets” may be biased or uninformed, as well, and warned jurors about taking the reporting of the press too seriously while deciding the case.