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WATCH: Outrage, Accusations Of Bias Fly After Rittenhouse Judge Has Court Applaud Defense Witness

WATCH: Outrage, Accusations Of Bias Fly After Rittenhouse Judge Has Court Applaud Defense Witness

Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is presiding over the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, is already a subject of contention among viewers of the trial. Many feel he’s showing bias in the accused murderer’s favor, and he didn’t exactly change their minds with his Veteran’s Day move.

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 11: John Black, use-of-force expert, is sworn in as a witness during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trail at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 11, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images)

Honoring veterans on November 11th is a longstanding tradition. However, most such remembrances don’t take place during a murder trial, or specifically seek to honor a witness for the defense.

Judge Schroeder’s courtroom, however, was the site of an exception on Thursday, when he paused the trial for a man accused of shooting three Black Lives Matter protestors, killing two of them, to call on the assembled, including the jury, to offer a round of applause for all veterans, after he identified the first witness for the defense as one.

According to Law & Crime, the judge paused before questioning of the first witness for the defense, Dr. John R. Black. He asked if there were any veterans in the courtroom, and upon receiving no response, he identified the witness as a veteran, then called for a round of applause for veterans.

Across social media, viewers are expressing their outrage, calling out the judge for perceived bias, noting that the action, including the timing, could unfairly bias the jury in favor of the witness, and demanding a mistrial.

Judge Schroeder has been accused of bias by some viewers since pre-trial motions, when he ruled that prosecutors couldn’t describe the people Rittenhouse is accused of murdering as “victims” in opening statements. While some legal experts explained that this ruling wasn’t necessarily a sign of bias, and had some precedent, it was still an early red flag for some.

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