Judge pictured reading cookie magazine during Kyle Rittenhouse trial

Judge gazed through the booklet patiently and then showed it to someone before setting it aside

Arpan Rai
Thursday 11 November 2021 06:15
<p>The court TV visuals showed the judge entertaining himself with the cookie book for at least a minute before putting it aside</p>

The court TV visuals showed the judge entertaining himself with the cookie book for at least a minute before putting it aside

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Judge Bruce Schroeder took a small break from legal arguments and briefly glanced into a cookie catalogue booklet amid the seven-hour-long murder trial of US teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, showed court television visuals.

A photo from Wednesday of the judge glancing through the booklet containing recipes for walnut caramel triangles, patriotic crinkle cookies, chocolate pudding cookies and peanut butter chip and jelly bars among several others made it to social media, invoking mixed reactions from people.

The judge was seen reading the 2021 edition of the We Energies Cookie Book, themed around celebrating military service with cookie recipes from veterans and active service members.

Judge Schroeder was seen picking up the cookie booklet and gazing through it patiently towards the end of the hearing while on a break.

He was seen shuffling through the pages and discussing it with someone for roughly a minute before putting it aside.

Just seconds before he kept it aside, the judge smiled sheepishly and showed the booklet to someone in the court.

Ten seconds later, the hearing resumed.

Mixed verdicts of the judge’s brief break poured in. They commented on the hearing and the judge’s means of entertaining himself through the trial.

“The highlight of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial BY FAR was when the judge was just casually reading a catalog to order cookies,” said journalist David Hookstead, sharing a photo of the judge.

The judge’s break elicited a strong reaction from writer Tara Dublin, who slammed the visuals. “From now on I think we should call Bruce Schroeder ‘Judge Christmas Cookie Catalog’ because that’s what he seems to care about more than justice for two dead men,” she said.

The judge’s phone had rang as he presided over the trial. His phone’s ringtone was revealed to be God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood, a song heavily used at rallies headlined by Donald Trump.

The trial for the shooting, which killed two men and wounded one during racial justice protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, saw Mr Rittenhouse testifying in the murder trial and claiming that he fired the shots in self defence.

Dramatic visuals of the trial showed Mr Rittenhouse breaking down and sobbing on the witness stand while trying to explain what happened the moment he fired at two people last year.

The 18-year-old said he wanted to help others by providing medical aid and that he brandished the gun and used it after being attacked and cornered.

Prosecutors said Mr Rittenhouse was a vigilante who carried the assault-style weapon into the chaotic ruckus, wanting to use it. They also backed it up to his knowledge on ammunition and his habit of playing violent video games.

“I used deadly force,” the teenager said, adding that he “didn’t know if it was going to kill them. But I used deadly force to stop the threat that was attacking me.”

Mr Rittenhouse is perceived in many quarters as a rogue symbol of the US’s devastating gun culture. Conservatives, however, consider him to be a hero and do not believe his actions were illegitimate.

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