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KYLE RITTENHOUSE TRIAL

Juror in Kyle Rittenhouse trial dismissed after telling joke about Jacob Blake shooting

One of the jurors in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse has been removed from the case after telling a joke about the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

A male juror was dismissed from the Rittenhouse trial after he made a joke about Blake's shooting to a deputy earlier in the week while being escorted to his car, CNN reports. According to ABC News, the juror declined to repeat the joke on Thursday, but prosecutor Thomas Binger said it was something to the effect of, "Why did the Kenosha police shoot Jacob Blake seven times? Because they ran out of bullets.'" Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to homicide charges after fatally shooting two people and injuring a third during a protest sparked by the police shooting of Blake, a Black man. Rittenhouse's legal team has argued he acted in self-defense. 

Binger reportedly said the joke, which was "in bad taste," suggested "some sort of racial bias which I think comes into play." Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder told the juror that it "appears that the appearance of bias is present," which "would seriously undermine the outcome of the case" and would "be sufficient charge for discharge." The juror argued the joke had "nothing to do with the case." The judge, though, said "the public needs to be confident that this is a fair trial," and the defense and prosecutor agreed he should be dismissed, CNN reports. This move comes just days after 11 women and nine men, including eight alternates, were selected to serve during the high-profile trial. 

Justin Blake, Jacob Blake's uncle, told CNN his family was "disturbed and disgusted" about the juror's joke, adding, "The juror's mentality shows his bias and callousness and he should be nowhere near the jury box in this case."