Washington

Kyle Rittenhouse protesters stage ‘die-in’, call for judge to resign for not issuing arrest warrant


Protesters laid on the steps of a Wisconsin courthouse Friday while staging a “die-in” during a demonstration they held in response to Kyle Rittenhouse being allowed to remain free on bond.

Local news outlets reported from the protest at Kenosha County Court, where a day earlier Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Bruce E. Schroeder refused to issue a warrant for Mr. Rittenhouse’s arrest.

Mr. Rittenhouse, 18, of Antioch, Michigan, faces homicide charges and other counts stemming from shootings that killed two people and injured a third during protests occurring in Kenosha in August.

Several months after Mr. Rittenhouse paid the $2 million bond needed to remain free pending trial, prosecutors said he recently violated the conditions of his release by quietly changing residences.

“I have no idea where the defendant is spending his time,” Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said in a hearing Thursday, calling it a “very unusual and dangerous situation.”

That hearing ultimately ended with the judge refusing to issue a new arrest warrant for Mr. Rittenhouse or raise his bond as the prosecution had requested, triggering protests the following day.

Among the protesters were some calling for the judge to resign, local media outlets WKBT and CBS 58 both reported.

Judge Schroeder, on his part, had said during the hearing Thursday that he would not be swayed by protesters.

“This case is not going to be decided about by demonstrators of one type or another, and frankly it’s not going to affect anything I do,” he said during the hearing.

Mr. Rittenhouse, then 17, said on the night of the shootings that he was in Kenosha to protect local businesses after protests taking place in the city erupted into rioting the night before.

Lawyers for Mr. Rittenhouse maintain he acted in self-defense and will be acquitted of all charges, with includes two counts of homicide and one count of attempted homicide, among others.

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