Rittenhouse trial judge receiving threatening messages, reports say

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Judge Bruce Schroeder, who has been presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial in Wisconsin, has been receiving threatening emails, faxes and other messages, according to reports.

The threats have included some aimed at the judge’s family members, the Daily Mail reported.

The messages also include accusations of racism against the judge and demands that he withdraw from the case, according to the Washington Examiner.

“Enjoy your term, judge, it’s going to be your LAST,” one message read, the Examiner reported. “If I ever meet you in person, I fully intend to spit directly into your face, regardless the cost. You’re disgusting.”

“Your Honor, I didn’t know that under your black robes of justice you wear a white robe of the klan,” another message said, according to the outlet. “There is no way a fair trial can be heard under your supervision. Better yet, resign.”

“Make sure and tell Schroeder what a worthless piece of s— he is,” said a third message, which claimed to be from “Jesus Christ,” according to the Examiner. “He’ll find out officially when his heart seizes up in a few years and he has to stand trial before a real judge.”

Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder is seen on the first day of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Nov. 1, 2021. 
(Associated Press)

Schroeder, 75, has attracted a lot of media attention since the trial got underway, including for his efforts to assert control of the court proceedings. Some critics, for example, have accused the judge of exhibiting a bias against the prosecutors in the case.

“Don’t get brazen with me!” Schroeder said to prosecutor Thomas Binger at one point during the trial, after Binger had questioned defendant Rittenhouse about deadly-force laws.

One email writer took issue with Schroeder’s directive that the men shot by Rittenhouse not be called “victims” during the trial. Rittenhouse and his defense team do not deny the defendant pulled the trigger last year during protests in Kenosha. They are arguing that Rittenhouse did so in self-defense.

“So I can’t call the wounded men victims, says ur judge,” the email writer’s message said, according to the Daily Mail. “One day hope his kids become victims to the most heinous homicide known to man so he feels the pain. … Racist b—–d god will pay u back for ur statement.”

Although many of the messages have been sent anonymously, many others received by the judge have been signed with the writers’ full names, the Examiner reported.

The judge claimed during the week that he planned to “deal with” those who’ve sent him the threats, according to the Examiner. 

“I wouldn’t want to be those people,” the judge said ominously, according to the outlet.

Closing arguments in the trial are expected to be heard Monday after testimony – including from Rittenhouse, in his own defense – concluded this week.

The defendant has pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide and two counts of endangerment with a deadly weapon, the Examiner reported.

The Aug. 25, 2020, night of unrest in Kenosha during which the Rittenhouse shootings took place followed the police-involved shooting and wounding of Jacob Blake in the city two days earlier. 

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