Judge lashes out at media coverage over his handling of the trial

By Mark Guarino and Holly Bailey

2:04 p.m.

As Schroeder prepared to bring the jury back into the courtroom to review video evidence in the case, he spent several minutes railing against what he described as media “misinformation” about the case, including critics who questioned why he did not allow those killed and injured by Rittenhouse to be called “victims” inside the courtroom.

“How would you like to be put on trial for a crime, and the judge introduced the case to the jury by introducing you as the defendant and the person who is accusing you as the victim, and then throughout the trial have all the references to the complaining witness as being the victim?” Schroeder said. “Is it so difficult to just use the term ‘complaining witness’ instead of prejudging what the jury is here to determine as to whether there’s a victim and whether there was a crime committed?”

Schroeder’s latest comments echoed frequent criticism he has made from the bench about media coverage of the case but also revealed how closely he had been monitoring the coverage and how personally he had taken some of the criticism. The judge called out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — a paper that he delivered as a young boy, he noted — for quoting law professors who questioned why he had not yet ruled on the defense motion for a mistrial.

The judge said he was waiting for prosecutors to file their response before reviewing the request. “I really think before I rule on a motion, I should let the state respond,” Schroeder said, his voice tinged with irritation. “Why anyone would think it’s odd for the judge to sit on a motion to dismiss, I have no idea.”

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