Prosecutors who hoped to get a conviction this week after charging teenager Kyle Rittenhouse with murder for shooting three men, two fatally, amid violent unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer were sorely disappointed when the jury came back with a not guilty verdict on all counts on Friday. But that’s not the end of their troubles where the Rittenhouse trial is concerned.
According to the Newsweek, one member of the prosecution team is facing heavy blowback after appearing to point the weapon used in the alleged crimes at other individuals seated in the courtroom while delivering his closing statement Monday.
Videos and photos reportedly show Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger with his finger on the trigger as he raised the rifle, which he was apparently using as a prop to make his case.
But we’ve all learned that even when used as props, guns are dangerous weapons that should be handled with extreme care. Binger’s violation of basic gun safety rules did little to help his case.
The incident took place Nov. 15, when Binger was attempting to reenact what the prosecution claimed Rittenhouse did that night last August.
He apparently thought his reenactment would be more compelling with Rittenhouse’s rifle in hand.
It’s unclear where exactly the weapon was pointed, and fact checks have claimed it wasn’t at the jury.
In either case, Binger said he had someone check the rifle to make sure that it was safe and unloaded, and it was. But that doesn’t give him free rein to treat the weapon as a toy.
Indeed, as Binger was pointing the rifle in the packed courtroom, he kept his finger on the trigger the whole time, Newsweek reported.
After the appalling display, many took to social media to criticize the attorney’s failure to follow basic firearm safety rules. “Look at this goofball with his finger on the trigger pointed at a courtroom full of people,” one user wrote, according to Breitbart.
Others pointed out the irony of the situation. “[T]he prosecutor who tried to say Kyle was reckless with a firearm picks up the same rifle and proceeds to recklessly break every gun safety rule known to man,” one user noted incredulously.
Thankfully, it seems the jury saw right through the prosecutor’s dangerous antics.