Rittenhouse judge says person caught filming jurors, orders deletion along with 'new procedures'

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The Wisconsin judge overseeing the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse announced Tuesday that deputies had caught someone recording video of the jurors earlier in the day and would be taking new steps to ensure the incident did not happen again, in addition to ordering the person to delete the images. 

The jury entered the Kenosha County courtroom on Tuesday morning and was greeted by Judge Bruce Schroeder, who referenced “the incident at the bus pick-up this morning.” Before the panel of jurors arrived, Schroeder had revealed that someone was spotted filming the group. 

“I’ve been assured that … the video, which had been taken, has been deleted,” Schroeder told the jury, “and new procedures are being instituted so that something like that … shut not recur.”

Judge Bruce Schroeder meets with a Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department deputy at the end of the day during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

The jurist added that he was “frankly quite surprised that it did.” He went on to say that he and the deputies had established “different procedures to do with respect to if it would occur.” 

Before the jury arrived, Schroeder told the court that if a similar incident were to happen again, he had instructed deputies to “take the phone and bring it here.” 

Rittenhouse is on trial for fatally shooting two men and wounding a third. He and at least one friend said they traveled to the Wisconsin city to protect local businesses and provide medical aid after two nights of unrest that led to businesses being looted and set on fire. 

Rittenhouse was 17 at the time and brought a medical kit and an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle, the latter of which had been supplied to him by a friend and was later used in the shootings. He is charged with two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, recklessly endangering safety and illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. 

During jury selection for the trial, some potential jurors specifically mentioned concerns for their safety if their involvement was made public. 

In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, file photo, Kyle Rittenhouse carries a weapon as he walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., during a night of unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.  (AP/The Journal Times)

Earlier this week, a video circulated alleging that people were at the Kenosha courthouse photographing jurors. On Monday, Fox News Digital contacted Kenosha police, Kenosha Sheriff, and Rittenhouse’s attorneys concerning claims jurors were being recorded.

Though declining to comment in detail to media citing the ongoing trial, Mark Richards, one of Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys, said by email early Tuesday, “the matter you speak about is being dealt with,” referring to a reporter’s questions regarding the video.

Kyle Rittenhouse looks back before his trial starts at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)
(Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. David Wright confirmed the department was “investigating this information and working with the courts.” He said the department did not have any additional comments or information.  

A deputy could be seen pacing the aisles during Monday’s court proceedings.

Meanwhile, Kenosha police Lt. Joseph Nosalik confirmed the department was “aware of the video,” claiming jurors were being recorded. 

He added: “Our commitment is to support the Kenosha County Sheriff with the trial process. I’m not going to speculate on anything to do with that video.” 

Fox News’ Jiovanni Lieggi contributed to this report. 

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