The 29-second video was recorded two weeks before the deadly Kenosha shooting in which the Illinois teen killed two men and severely injured one more when he openly fired at protesters during a Black Lives Matter demonstration last year. Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and five other counts, but his case has not been simple. He has been the subject of multiple controversies, from disappearing off the grid amid investigations to being spotted hanging out with the Proud Boys.
Despite being charged with intentional homicide, Rittenhouse was released on bail; conservatives paid his $2 million bond. Alongside the video, Binger has asked the judge to press Rittenhouse to turn in the names of anyone who donated to his legal defense, “Free Kyle.” These people, Binger argued, should not be allowed to serve on the trial’s jury, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors alleged the video confirms that Rittenhouse was “hunting humans” that evening and shot the men as an act of vigilantism.
In the motion Wednesday, prosecutors noted that Rittenhouse “saw something, jumped to a conclusion based on exactly zero facts, and then threatened to kill someone based on his baseless assumption and wrongful interpretation.” They added that Rittenhouse didn’t know the people outside the CVS or what they were doing; he merely made assumptions as he watched them from across the street. Rittenhouse had no interactions with the group.
“The video proves that the defendant was ready and willing to use deadly force in a situation where it was completely unjustified,” the motion said. “The video also demonstrates that the defendant fervently sought to insert himself as an armed vigilante into situations that had nothing to do with him,” prosecutors continued.
According to Kenosha News, while prosecutors obtained the video on Aug. 12, it is unclear who filmed it, where it was filmed, or how prosecutors obtained it.
This isn’t the first video state prosecutors filed a motion to admit. According to Kenosha News, prosecutors filed a motion to admit a video taken from Kenosha’s lakefront weeks before the August 2020 shooting depicting Rittenhouse punching a girl who had been in dispute with his sister. Prosecutors say the video provides further evidence of Rittenhouse’s violent nature.
This latest motion follows other requests by prosecutors in the last year, including a motion for a new warrant for Rittenhouse’s arrest and increases in his bond, Daily Kos reported.
In these “other acts” motions, prosecutors must prove the evidence provided is relevant and not just prejudicial to the defendant because the evidence is not directly part of the crime alleged in a case. Ultimately it is up to Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder to decide whether or not the evidence is relevant and can be presented to the jury.
A hearing on motions is set for Sept. 17. Rittenhouse’s trial begins November 1.