For more than a year, prosecutors in the Kyle Rittenhouse case have possessed FBI spy video footage taken by a fixed wing plane flying above the Kenosha riots. Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys say they only learned of its existence recently. On Tuesday, the public finally got a look at it.
It’s pretty clear why the prosecution was playing hide-the-ball with the evidence and why Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys were the first to show it in court. Over prosecutorial objections, Judge Bruce Schroeder allowed Rittenhouse’s attorneys to use their opening statement to show photos, videos, and, yes, the FBI’s FLIR thermal images of the first of three shootings the night of August 25, 2020. It was an unusual move and one you’ll see more defense attorneys replicate in the future.
The thermal technology video answers more than a few questions about who started what on the night of August 25, 2020. The FBI’s video conflicts with a story line prosecutors told jurors earlier in the day in opening statements.
During pretrial motions, defense attorneys complained that they’d just been notified of the existence of the FBI thermal imaging videos. Prosecutors said they’d given defense attorneys a head’s up in September, about a month before the trial started on November 1.
The video looks like many you may have seen from war zones, as pilots with laser-guided munitions attempt to find terrorists, or the way the Border Patrol looks for those white-on-black images of illegal drug mules making their way over the southern border.
The FBI is now using the tool to collect intelligence over riot-ravaged cities like Kenosha. It’s unclear if it’s been used in other cities, but some Portland, L.A., and Seattle residents sure would like to see them.
The unique FBI video starts at :46 on this video seen on Twitter.
Newly released FBI footage of Kyle Rittenhouse…. pic.twitter.com/XnnhvOAVkj
— Mrgunsngear (@Mrgunsngear) November 2, 2021
The video demonstrates fairly clearly that the first person shot that night, Joseph Rosenbaum, appeared to lie in wait for Rittenhouse – hiding behind a car – and that when the teen jogged past the car looking for the burning cars he’d come to put out, the 36-year-old man came up from behind, chased, and lunged at Rittenhouse.
It then shows Rittenhouse apparently trapped as Rosenbaum lunges–and that’s when the 17-year-old fired four shots in a span of .76 seconds, killing Rosenbaum. The prosecution claimed in court that the kill shot was fired into Rosenbaum’s back and plans to make this a big point in the state’s case.
Defense attorneys depicted the chase as a man who had already threatened Rittenhouse’s life wanting to get a hold of the teen’s gun. Prosecutors say, however, that Rittenhouse chased Rosenbaum, hoping to somehow start something. Prosecutors haven’t answered what that something was, but defense attorneys say Rittenhouse came with a fire extinguisher to put out fires that Rosenbaum had been starting.
The FBI video also corroborates video showing Rosenbaum’s friend, Joshua Ziminski, firing the first shot that night.
Daily reminder that rioter and arsonist Joshua Ziminski fired the first shot the night of the Kyle Rittenhouse attack pic.twitter.com/DYADyqtVj1
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 29, 2021
Ziminski was positioned and fired the gun into the air behind Rittenhouse as the 17-year-old ran away from Rosenbaum. Just a thought, but if some crazy guy’s chasing you and you hear a gun shot, during a riot you just might be in harm’s way.
At this point, Ziminski, seen holding back a violent Rosenbaum earlier in the evening as he threatened others, and his wife, Kelly, began screaming for the mob to come kill Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse sticks around, calls someone, and, as the mob calls for his head, runs up the street toward where the cops have blocked the street.