Men Shot By Kyle Rittenhouse Cannot Be Called ‘Victims’, Judge Rules

by : Emily Brown on :
Men Shot By Kyle Rittenhouse Can Not Be Called 'Victims', Judge RulesAlamy

A judge has ruled that prosecutors working on the criminal trial of Kyle Rittenhouse will not be able to refer to the people he shot as ‘victims’. 

Rittenhouse is facing multiple felony charges of homicide and recklessly endangering the safety of others, plus one misdemeanour count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor, after the shootings which took place on August 25, 2020.


The then-17-year-old reportedly killed two people, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injured a third, Gaige Grosskreutz, when he fired shots during a protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

Kyle Rittenhouse in court (Alamy)Alamy

Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to all charges, with his lawyers arguing the shootings happened in self-defence. Armed with an AR-15-style rifle, the teenager travelled to the protests from Illinois in response to a call from a Kenosha-based militia group hoping to protect local businesses from protesters, NPR reports.

Judge Bruce Schroeder’s decision about the use of the word ‘victims’ came during a proceeding about the ground rules for the next week’s trial, where prosecutors and defence lawyers engaged in discussions over whether certain language, witnesses or evidence would be allowed.


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Explaining his decision, the judge said: ‘The word ‘victim’ is a loaded, loaded word. And I think ‘alleged victim’ is a cousin to it.’

Defence attorneys will be able to refer to the men as ‘arsonists’, ‘looters’ or ‘rioters’, as long as they took part in those activities, while Schroeder has asked prosecutors to use the terms ‘complaining witness’ or ‘decedent’ when referring to those who were shot.

Judge Bruce Schroeder (Alamy)Alamy

Prosecutor Thomas Binger slammed the decision as ‘a double standard’, though the judge has stressed the trial must ‘let the evidence show what the evidence shows’.


He continued: ‘And if the evidence shows that any or more than one of these people were engaged in arson, rioting, or looting — then I’m not going to tell the defence they can’t call them that.’

Jury selection for the trial is set to begin on Monday, November 1.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: News, Jacob Blake, Kyle Rittenhouse, Now, Protests, Shooting, Wisconsin


  1. NPR

    Prosecutors cannot call those shot by Kyle Rittenhouse 'victims,' a judge has ruled