News & Politics

George Floyd Friend Claims Rittenhouse Jurors Are Being Tracked and Photographed

Is it just big-mouth social media blather, or is this an actual threat to the jury hearing the Kyle Rittenhouse case in Kenosha? And if it is, what’s being done about it?

George Floyd’s friend, Cortez Rice, who is sometimes referred to as Floyd’s nephew, released a video on Twitter in which he claims he knows people gathering photos and other information about the remaining 18 men and women in the jury pool.

Cortez issued the video as an apparent warning to the jury. In it, he says he didn’t even “want to name the people that I know that is in the Kenosha trial. But there’s cameras in there. There’s definitely cameras up in there and there’s definitely people taking pictures of the juries and everything like that. We know what’s going on. So we need the same results, man.” He then began listing people he believed needed “justice.”

Townhall colleague Julio Rosas, who was on the ground during the fiery riots and in the Kenosha courtroom on Friday, said he saw no evidence of such picture-taking behavior but wondered if it hadn’t already taken place. “This needs to be looked into because potential jurors on Monday said they were concerned for their safety/having their identities revealed,” Rosas said in a tweet. “He could be talking big on social media but this is a very serious claim.”

During jury selection, more than a couple potential jurors wondered about “community safety” if the jury made the “wrong decision.” Indeed, in polling done by then-defense attorney Robert Barnes, two-thirds of the jury pool in Kenosha had decided that Rittenhouse was guilty.

Judge Bruce Schroeder seemed blasé about safety during voir dire, but he promised to go over security measures out of the view of cameras and reporters.

A similar situation existed during the Minneapolis trial of Derek Chauvin, the officer who was convicted of killing George Floyd in the case that touched off the riots of summer 2020 and beyond. During the Chauvin trial, jurors were afraid for their safety. They had to walk through a gauntlet of barricades and pass through security to get inside the courtroom. Protesters were camped outside.

The political nature of the Rittenhouse case cannot be ignored. The then-17-year-old attended the third night of the Kenosha riots in answer to the call by a former city councilman to protect businesses targeted by Antifa and BLM rioters. Some of those rioters had traveled into town for the occasion.

Related: Prosecution Tips Hand, Plans to Depict Rittenhouse Attacker as ‘Hero.’ That Turns Out to Be a Problem.

The Kenosha riots erupted after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a knife-wielding dad who brought his kids in the back of his car to visit his mate. She had a restraining order out on him and called police. When they arrived, Blake fled to his car after being ordered several times to stop. As he grabbed his knife from the car, an officer opened fire on him. He was shot seven times and is now confined to a wheelchair.

The Antifa and BLM left have attempted to depict the Rittenhouse shootings as a racially tinged affair, but the three men he shot were white. All video evidence shows the men attacked Rittenhouse first. The now 18-year-old has pled self-defense.

Week two of the trial begins Monday.

Follow PJ Media’s coverage of the Rittenhouse trial here.