Remove Judge Bruce Schroeder from his seat!
Remove Judge Bruce Schroeder from his seat!
On August 25, 2020, amid the Kenosha unrest, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old high school dropout from Antioch, Illinois, shot and killed two people and wounded another during multiple confrontations at two locations. He was armed, illegally, with an AR-15 style rifle and one of the victims had a handgun. Those who had been chasing him were physically confronting Rittenhouse at the time that they were shot. Kenosha resident Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Silver Lake resident Anthony Huber, 26, were killed, while West Allis resident Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, lost his bicep, but reconstructive surgery enabled him to keep his arm.
Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with multiple counts of homicide and weapons offenses, but right-wing groups have rallied to his cause, celebrating him as a hero who sought to protect Kenosha from destructive rioting and who fired in self-defense. The events have become a litmus test for a deeply divided nation.
The judge in charge of this case, Judge Bruce Schroeder, upon hearing Rittenhouse's plea of 'not guilty,' gave him $2 million bail. This money was collected by the aforementioned right-wing groups and a murderer was allowed to walk free.
According to prosecutors, Rittenhouse was seen at a local bar with his mother about 90 minutes after the arraignment, and his presence and behavior were confirmed by surveillance video.
Rittenhouse was seen with other individuals flashing "the 'OK' sign, which has been co-opted as a sign of 'white power' by known white supremacist groups," and was "directly served a beer by the bartender," the motion said.
The document also states that Rittenhouse turned 18 this month and lives in Illinois. "Under Illinois law, it is a Class A Misdemeanor for anyone under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol in a public place," the motion states.
In Wisconsin, however, it is legal for someone under the age of 21 to possess and consume alcohol if a parent is present.
Prosecutors are also asking the court to "prohibit the defendant from publicly displaying symbols and gestures that are associated with violent white supremacist groups and from associating with known members of those groups, particularly the Proud Boys."
Rittenhouse has also moved and failed to provide an updated address to the court.
Judge Schroeder noted there is no evidence that Rittenhouse is a flight risk or has violated his bond conditions by committing a crime, which would be required for him to grant the prosecution's two motions.
"To issue a warrant now for a defendant who has appeared at every hearing, I'd be breaking the law, and I'm not going to do it," Schroeder stated.
Schroeder ordered Rittenhouse to provide his current physical address to the court and the Kenosha County Sheriff's Office and ruled that the information would be kept under seal, due to concerns for Rittenhouse's safety. Mark Richards, an attorney for Rittenhouse, said the suspect has received threats.
Richards told the judge he would provide the information to the court clerk by the end of the day on Thursday. The judge declined to order that the address be provided to the district attorney's office.
The prosecution said it is "highly irregular" for the address of a defendant, particularly one charged with multiple counts of murder, to be withheld. He unsuccessfully argued the information was necessary for his officer to ensure bail conditions are being met.
I am tired of watching this saga unfold so unfairly for the victims and their families.
Judge Bruce Schroeder has demonstrated on multiple occasions that he is not fit to make fair judgements on this case. His continual insistence that Rittenhouse be allowed to walk free shows that he puts no value in the safety of the public. His decisions in this matter have unequivocally proven that he needs to be removed. If he cannot take something as severe as hate crimes resulting in murder seriously, how can we expect him to make fair judgments in any other trial?
This petition, upon receiving enough signatures, will be sent to the Wisconsin State House. We will demand that they remove Judge Bruce Schroeder from his seat and this case in the interest of the safety of not only the people of Illinois and Wisconsin, but for all Americans.