Koerri Washington, who described himself as an “independent influencer on social media”, took the position as the third witness in the trial on Tuesday afternoon, and prosecutors played video he filmed from the night of August 25, 2020. He will return to the booth on Wednesday morning.
In opening statements, prosecutors said evidence would show that Rittenhouse, 17, at the time was hunting and shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, deadly, and then shooting at three other people trying to confront what they thought was an active shooter.
However, Rittenhouse’s defense attorney Mark Richards said Rosenbaum had been the aggressor that night, describing the others as part of a “mob.”
“He acted in self-defense, ladies and gentlemen,” Richards told the jury. “The evidence will show that his actions … were reasonable in the circumstances when they existed the night they were attacked by Mr. Rosenbaum.”
The trial will feature a series of videos showing Rittenhouse’s movements that night, including an infrared video filmed from above Kenosha. Most of the facts about what happened that night are not up for debate – rather, the core of the trial is the analysis of Rittenhouse’s actions and whether they can be considered “reasonable”.
Rittenhouse fired an AR-15-style weapon a total of eight times during the riots: four shots fired by Rosenbaum, who was unarmed; two shots fired at an unarmed unknown person who fired Rittenhouse; a fatal shot at Anthony Huber hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard; and a shot fired at Gaige Grosskreutz, who was holding a gun, according to prosecutors.
A friend who bought weapons testified
Dominick Black, a 20-year-old friend who was dating Rittenhouse’s sister, testified Tuesday as the first witness in the trial, saying he had previously bought an AR-15 firearm for Rittenhouse in what prosecutors called a “straw purchase.”
Rittenhouse was too young to buy and possess a gun, but he gave Black money to buy the firearm, Black testified.
On August 25, 2020, Black and Rittenhouse each took a weapon and ammunition and headed to the center of Kenosha to try to protect a car dealer called Car Source, where about six or seven other armed people were gathered. Black climbed onto the roof of the dealership that night because he felt it was too dangerous to be on the ground, he testified.
At one point, he heard shots go off in the distance in an area where Rittenhouse was.
“I did not believe the shots were actually his until I got a phone call. I answered it and he just said, ‘I shot someone, I shot someone,’ and then hung up right away,” Black testified.
Rittenhouse returned to the dealership “freaking out,” pale and sweaty, Black said. They left Kenosha and drove to Rittenhouse’s home in Antioch, and Rittenhouse surrendered to police the next morning.
Black has been charged with two counts of intentionally giving a dangerous weapon to a person under the age of 18 and causing death, according to court records. He has pleaded not guilty. He testified Tuesday that he hoped taking a stand would lead to leniency in his case.
Also on Tuesday, an FBI agent testified about air surveillance of the riots.
Prosecutors said infrared surveillance video could show that at least at some point during the night, it was Rittenhouse who was following and chasing Rosenbaum. With FBI agent Brandon Cramin on the stand, prosecutors played grainy black-and-white video taken from an 8,500-foot plane over Kenosha.
None of the obscure figures on the ground were immediately identifiable, according to pool reports. After Judge Bruce Schroeder and the lawyers discussed the video, the judge advised prosecutors to skip the FBI agent for now, summon various witnesses and return to the question of the plane later.
CNN’s Carma Hassan and Brad Parks contributed to this report.