I’m not normally one to go dolling out relationship advice—but find you somebody who wants you as bad as Judge Bruce Schroeder wants to see Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse walk away scot-free after killing two people and injuring a third with an assault rifle he was carrying illegally.
On Monday, before closing arguments in Rittenhouse’s murder trial, Schroeder inexplicably dismissed the defendant’s misdemeanor gun charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, which was punishable by up to nine months in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to CNN.
It’s bad enough that Black people are being forced to watch America pretend there’s an actual, even-sided debate as to whether Rittenhouse’s shooting rampage on August 25, 2020, was justified, but the one thing that was beyond any debate was that the then-17-year-old was not of legal age to be carrying a rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The fact is, even before Rittenhouse started dry-blubbering non-existence white tears while testifying in his own defense, many had speculated that Schroeder is a barely even closeted Rittenhouse fanboy who wouldn’t know objectivity if it shot two anti-police violence protesters dead and then walked into his courtroom chambers to hump his leg for a free pass.
This is, after all, the same judge who gave big “boys will be boys” energy in brushing off Rittenhouse’s violations of the conditions of his bond. This is also the same judge who ruled that Rittenhouse’s victims couldn’t be called victims during the trial, but could be called “rioters,” “looters” and “arsonists” under certain circumstances.
Nah, seriously: This man literally told a defense attorney in a court of law that he could “demonize them if he wants if he thinks it will win points with the jury.” Schroeder is one acquittal away from asking Rittenhouse if he can take him to prom, I swear.
Anyway, after dismissing the weapons charge, the judge issued instructions to the jury on the five remaining charges. Issuing those instructions reportedly took over an hour—I’m guessing because Schroeder was simultaneously trying to figure out how to subscribe to Rittenhouse’s OnlyKlans page—and he stopped midway through to discuss with attorneys their concerns that the instructions were confusing and convoluted.
“They are certainly correct in what they say, I just think they are not clear,” Schoeder reportedly admitted.
One can only wonder if that lack of clarity had anything to do with a judge jumping through hoops to abra-cadabra an unhinged active shooter into the innocent boy next door.
CNN noted that “closing arguments are set to come afterward and last up to five hours” and that “the jury of eight men and 10 women will also be narrowed to 12 people by a drawing of names before deliberations begin.” Meanwhile, officials and residents in Kenosha are just hoping it remains safe in the streets after the verdict is delivered.
According to NBC News, the state of Wisconsin has dispatched 500 National Guard troops and has made available hundreds of local police officers to make sure the verdict, whatever it may be, doesn’t result in the same kind of unrest that made Rittenhouse a MAGA-household name in the first place.
“It’s affected the energy of the city in a negative way,” Kenosha resident Max Lewis told NBC of the trial as well as the increase in police presence. “It’s not the same. Everyone is trying to avoid the situation as well as keep an eye out on the situation. We’re a little dismayed by the situation. This case should have been cut and dry. You kill two people in the street, you get punished for it, end of story.”
You would think so, wouldn’t you, Max? Unfortunately, the power of whiteness runs deep in this country’s legal system, and we all better get prepared to watch America keep being America.