Last Updated on February 17, 2022
Social media influencer Koerri Washington, who was live streaming the night three rioters were allegedly shot by Kyle Rittenhouse, testified during Rittenhouse’s trial on Tuesday. Washington told jurors he made a “mental note” of Rittenhouse because he looked young, but clarified that he didn’t find him threatening.
Washington also agreed when asked if the behavior of Joseph Rosenbaum, a convicted pedophile who appears to have rushed towards Rittenhouse in multiple videos, could be described as “erratic.”
The defense team showed Washington several video clips, some filmed by Washington himself. He testified that he had witnessed numerous fires being started in Kenosha on the night of August 24. The streamer said that citizens, some armed and dressed similarly to Rittenhouse, had been putting out fires over the course of the night. This angered several looters and arsonists, according to Washington.
Rosenbaum may have been one of those angered by the teen’s efforts to save local businesses. Washington also said that he had seen videos of Rosenbaum antagonizing armed citizens while yelling “shoot me ***ga!”
Washington also testified that he made a mental note of Rittenhouse because he “seemed young” and was chain-smoking, indicating to him that the teenager was nervous. He noted that Rittenhouse did not appear to be acting in a “malicious” way. The streamer said he didn’t think Rittenhouse “Was going to go around and mow a bunch of people down.”
“This is just I suppose, my opinion, he just seems like he was young and like he didn’t know what was going on,” Washington said. “He seemed nervous in the situation. But I mean, I suppose a lot of people were nervous. It was not a slight at him, just a thing I noticed.”
Rittenhouse lead defense lawyer Mark Richards argued that Joseph Rosenbaum “lit the fuse” that led to the shootings on August 24, 2020 in his opening statement on Monday. Richards said Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse before lunging at his rifle, therefore posing a danger to Rittenhouse’s life.
The attorney noted that Rosenbaum had antagonized several people on the night of the shootings, daring them to shoot him. This has been captured on video and repeated endlessly. He also stated that Rosenbaum was armed with a heavy chain.
Later in the day, Kenosha Detective Martin Howard took the stand. Howard assisted with the riot response on the night of August 24. One of his tasks was to block exits leading into Kenosha as unmarked vehicles had been arriving in groups. The detective also assisted with shutting off gas pumps as rioters were attempting to start fires near them.
Howard was also one of the detectives who examined Rittenhouse after he turned himself in to the Antioch Police Department. He testified that Rittenhouse showed signs of numerous minor injuries such as bumps and scratches.
Much of Howard’s testimony consisted of amateur video clips that captured the events. He further confirmed that the first shot in the timeline was fired by Joshua Ziminski, a rioter who had allegedly been setting fires with Rosenbaum.
Howard stated that Rittenhouse fired his weapon a total of eight times from the time of the altercation with Rosenbaum until he crossed police lines. Four shots were fired at Rosenbaum, one at Anthony Huber, two at another individual who was close behind Huber, and one at Gaige Grosskreutz, who raised a handgun towards Rittenhouse.
Prior to his death, Rosenbaum was convicted of raping or otherwise sexually molesting underage boys as young as 9 years old.
Howard also stated that more shots were fired by unknown individuals when asked by lead prosecutor Thomas Binger. The detective is set to be questioned by the defense after the trial returns from a recess.