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Witness testifies that Kyle Rittenhouse’s first victim ‘asked bluntly’ to get shot


Joseph Rosenbaum screamed ‘Shoot me N*****’ and ‘false-stepped’ towards strangers to incite a violent response on the evening of August 25, 2020. 

This is the testimony of Jason Lackowski, the first witness of the fourth day of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and an army veteran who traveled to Kenosha to ‘protect property.’

Questioned by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, Lackowski, who was armed with an AR-15, a knife and CS canisters that night, said that Rosenbaum asked him to shoot him several times.

Lackowski said, ‘He said ‘Shoot me,’ and used more explicit language than that.

‘He had been acting very belligerently. He had asked people very bluntly to shoot him. He did what I would call, ”false-stepping” to incite someone.’

On Binger’s request, Lackowski rose to demonstrate ‘false-stepping’ to the jurors. He lurched forward from a standing start, in a jarring movement and with his chest puffed out, then simply stepped back.

Despite this, Lackowski said he did not consider Rosenbaum a credible threat to him or anyone else. Instead, he turned his back on him and walked away.

Lackowski is the second prosecution witness whose testimony about Rosenbaum’s aggressive behavior and the chaos of the night seems only to add weight to the defense’s case that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense when he shot first him, Huber and Grosskreutz.

Kyle Rittenhouse is accused of gunning down three people with a military-style semi-automatic rifle last year, killing two and injuring one

Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum (pictured), 36, with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle after Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse across a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him shortly before midnight on August 25, 2020

Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum (pictured), 36, with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle after Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse across a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him shortly before midnight on August 25, 2020

Jason Lackowski was the first witness to take the stand Friday on the fourth day of Rittenhouse's trial

Jason Lackowski was the first witness to take the stand Friday on the fourth day of Rittenhouse’s trial

Yesterday the court heard from key witness, Daily Caller Chief Video Director Richie McGinniss, who described how Rosenbaum had ‘lunged’ for Rittenhouse’s gun having pursued him into a row of parked cars and what appeared to be ‘something of a dead end.’

McGinniss painted a compelling picture of the sporadic violence of the night as well as Rosenbaum’s erratic and ‘menacing’ behavior. And he refused to cede to Binger’s assertion that the dead man was already falling forward when Rittenhouse shot.

Under increasingly testy direct examination that at times seemed more like a cross-examination of a hostile witness, McGinniss insisted that Rosenbaum was gaining ground on Rittenhouse when he ‘lunged forward’ and attempted to grab the teen’s weapon.

He said that Rosenbaum may have been unable to stop himself from falling face down because of the shot, but would not agree that he had witnessed Rosenbaum fall before the first shot was fired

Under direct examination Lackowski described the scenes of ‘chaos’ in downtown Kenosha, earning a reprimand from the judge when he referred to, ‘the a**holes who were trying to use the protest to their own gain.’

He explained, ‘There were a lot of individuals there to legitimately protest and there were people there to instigate and I noticed there were a lot of people who were using that to cause havoc.

‘People throwing things at police, people staring fires, people with mal intent.’

He told the court that he had been trained to, ‘Shout, shove, show, shoot.’ But that he had never had to take even that second step.

Lackowski testified that Rittenhouse told him he was an EMT and that he assumed he was 18 because of that and the fact that he was carrying a firearm.

Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy, and sister McKenzie were once again in court. They were flanked by security as they have been every day.

Both Rittenhouse and his family have a constant security detail as the teen and his family received multiple threats on their lives since the events of last summer.

Lackowski testified that Rittenhouse had run towards him after shooting all three men. He was, Lackowski said, ‘frazzled and in shock,’ but when Rittenhouse spoke he said he had NOT shot anybody but needed help. But under cross examination Lackowski said he was ‘not at all certain’ of that assertion.

Lackowski said, ‘I told him to run towards the police [vehicles]’

After that, he said, ‘I pretty much blacked out because the next thing I remember is helping Mr Grosskreutz.’

He said, ‘I remember him being on the ground screaming. Somebody was screaming for a tourniquet. I had given that to him, he applied the tourniquet. He had done it wrong so I pushed him out of the way and applied it correctly.’

After the police showed up Lackowski said he noticed Grosskreutz’s Glock on the ground and someone walking towards it.

He said, ‘I pushed him away, picked up the firearm, dropped the magazine and emptied the chamber.’

A second juror in the trial was dismissed Friday. The juror who is pregnant asked to be removed at the start of the fourth day of testimony due to medical reasons.

Juror 27 was dismissed without issue and Judge Bruce Schroeder wished her well before seating the remaining jurors.

Lackowski claimed Joseph Rosenbaum screamed 'Shoot me N*****' and 'false-stepped' towards strangers to incite a violent response during the riots

Lackowski claimed Joseph Rosenbaum screamed ‘Shoot me N*****’ and ‘false-stepped’ towards strangers to incite a violent response during the riots

Juror 27 was dismissed Friday without issue and Judge Bruce Schroeder wished her well before seating the remaining jurors

Juror 27 was dismissed Friday without issue and Judge Bruce Schroeder wished her well before seating the remaining jurors

Rittenhouse is accused of gunning down three people with a military-style semi-automatic rifle last year, killing two and injuring one

Jurors heard startling testimony as Ryan Balch took the stand Thursday afternoon. Balch, a self-avowed ‘boogaloo boi’ had traveled to Kenosha to ‘police’ the community after hearing of the protests and riots that had taken place across the previous nights.

According to Balch, Rosenbaum made the threats within ear-shot of Rittenhouse who had quickly attached himself to Balch and the two spent much of the evening side by side.

Jurors at the Kenosha shooter's trial heard jolting audio of the first four shots fired by Kyle Rittenhouse on the night of August 25, 2020

Jurors at the Kenosha shooter’s trial heard jolting audio of the first four shots fired by Kyle Rittenhouse on the night of August 25, 2020

Rittenhouse was by Balch’s side when Rosenbaum ‘got in his face’ ‘yelling and screaming.’

In direct testimony Balch told Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, ‘He was yelling and screaming. I said, ”Dude back up, chill out.”

The court then heard that Rosenbaum turned to Balch and said, ‘If I catch any of you guys alone tonight I’m going to f***ing kill you.’

According to Balch, ‘the defendant was close enough to hear what was said.’

Later that night Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse down in a pursuit that ended when the younger man turned on him and fired off four shots, shooting him dead.

Earlier in his testimony Balch, a military veteran who was armed with an AR-15 and wearing body armor that night, characterized Rosenbaum as, ‘hyper-aggressive and acting out in a violent manner.’

He said, ‘He was always having to be restrained by someone. The crowd was pretty good about getting in between him and whoever it was.

‘If he landed a blow I didn’t see it, but he definitely wanted to.’

In contrast Balch described Rittenhouse – whom he believed to be 19 years old – as ‘underexperienced and underequipped.’

He said, ‘He seemed like an impressionable kid. I felt like as young as he looked and the general way he was carrying himself the protesters would have seen that as a weakness and tried to exploit that.’

In a moment of levity Balch recalled the only direct encounter he witnessed between Rittenhouse and a protester. He said, ‘He had one exchange that I saw. Just some random person in the crowd yelled, ‘F*** you!’

Balch said Rittenhouse replied, ‘I love you too ma’am.’

Balch told the court that he mistakenly believed the hospital bag that Rosenbaum was carrying to contain ammonia and bleach – the ingredients for a Molotov cocktail.

Daily Caller Chief Video Director Richie McGinniss (pictured) took the witness stand Thursday morning as a prosecution witness. He claimed Rittenhouse victim Joseph Rosenbaum 'lunged towards the muzzle' of Rittenhouse's gun in the moment the teen levelled it towards him and shot

Daily Caller Chief Video Director Richie McGinniss (pictured) took the witness stand Thursday morning as a prosecution witness. He claimed Rittenhouse victim Joseph Rosenbaum ‘lunged towards the muzzle’ of Rittenhouse’s gun in the moment the teen levelled it towards him and shot

Jurors heard the startling testimony as Ryan Balch took the stand Thursday afternoon. Balch, a self-avowed 'boogaloo boi' had traveled to Kenosha to 'police' the community after hearing of the protests and riots that had taken place across the previous nights

Jurors heard the startling testimony as Ryan Balch took the stand Thursday afternoon. Balch, a self-avowed ‘boogaloo boi’ had traveled to Kenosha to ‘police’ the community after hearing of the protests and riots that had taken place across the previous nights

Earlier in the day Thursday Daily Caller Chief Video Director Richie McGinniss took the stand to testify that Joseph Rosenbaum ‘lunged towards the muzzle’ of Kyle Rittenhouse’s weapon in the moment the teen leveled it towards him and shot.

Moments later, as Rittenhouse was running down a street, he shot and killed Anthony Huber (pictured), 26, a protester from Silver Lake, Wisconsin

Moments later, as Rittenhouse was running down a street, he shot and killed Anthony Huber (right), 26, a protester from Silver Lake, Wisconsin

McGinniss had traveled to Kenosha to cover the unrest following the shooting of Jacob Blake and was so close to the shooting on August 25, 2020, that Rittenhouse has been charged with reckless endangerment.

He told the court he followed Rosenbaum’s pursuit of Rittenhouse because he sensed that ‘something newsworthy’ was about to happen after seeing Rittenhouse running carrying a fire extinguisher in one hand and his AR-15 in the other.

McGinniss had been called as a state witness, but if he had hoped that McGinniss would further his case Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger was disappointed. At times his direct examination seemed more like a contentious cross.

McGinniss detailed the events of the night as he had witnessed them chronicling the ‘menacing’ atmosphere and random violence up to the point where he found himself just feet behind Rosenbaum as Rittenhouse turned to face him.

Binger focused in on the moment that Rittenhouse pulled the trigger – suggesting that Rosenbaum was already ‘falling forward’ when the first shot was taken, a key element to the state’s contention that Rosenbaum was no threat and that the shooting was therefore not self-defense.

But McGinniss pushed back, with testimony that rendered him more a witness for the defense than the state.

Indeed DailyMail.com has learned that McGinniss, who gave a host of interviews to right-wing outlets in the days following the shooting, was seen speaking with the defense team in a Kenosha hotel last night.

McGinniss said, ‘It’s unclear to me whether the shots were the reason he was falling because he lunged as the shots were fired. Perhaps it was the shots that caused him to fall forward.

‘He was lunging, falling, I would use those as synonymous terms – he threw his momentum towards the weapon. His momentum was going forward and that’s the point at which he fired the shots.’

The defense claims Rittenhouse tried to turn himself in for shooting Rosenbaum, but was seized by a mob, including Huber, who they claimed tried to 'decapitate' Rittenhouse

The defense claims Rittenhouse tried to turn himself in for shooting Rosenbaum, but was seized by a mob, including Huber, who they claimed tried to ‘decapitate’ Rittenhouse

Binger badgered McGinniss to cede the point and agree with him that Rosenbaum was falling when the shots were fired but despite an increasingly tense examination McGinniss would not be swayed.

He insisted that Rosenbaum ‘lunged’ towards the rifle and that it was in that moment that Rittenhouse, ‘levelled [his gun] at Mr. Rosenbaum and fired.’

McGinniss went onto recall how he attempted to comfort Rosenbaum as he sped to hospital with the dying man in the back of a stranger’s car.

He said, ‘I was telling him we were going to have a beer together afterwards and that it was all doing to be okay. I believe that when I was talking, I like to think, that he could hear me.

‘It seemed that his eye was looking at me but it was kind of rolling back and when I started talking it kind of rolled back towards me, looking at me.

‘He was having difficulty breathing.’

McGinniss revealed that the crowd were so ‘animated’ and angry that he was punched in the face as he tried to load Rosenbaum into the car.



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