The presiding judge on the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial that begun on November 1 has been drawing considerable attention since day one and now he has also faced sharp criticism after he cracked a ‘joke’ about Asian food in the courtroom on Thursday. “I hope the Asian food isn’t coming … isn’t on one of those boats in Long Beach Harbor,” Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder said when asked about lunch break. The small clip has now gone viral where Schroeder is asked about the timing of the lunch break and he says, “Let’s hope for 1 o’clock, I hope the Asian food isn’t coming … isn’t on one of those boats in Long Beach Harbour…but..uh, let’s aim for 1 o’clock."
Schroeder’s comment seemed to be aimed at the supply chain crisis that has been plaguing California ports and resulted in the boats waiting idle for days waiting to come ashore and it sparked furore among Asian community and critics of Schroeder who felt his comments were in bad taste.
Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor, also condemned the comment by Schroeder. “The biased judge in the Rittenhouse trial just made a thinly-veiled anti-Asian comment," she tweeted. “Because all Asian food comes from China like the boats haha what a bigot."
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, a Democrat also tweeted, “Schroeder has provided an example of how not to be a good judge. The selection system in Wisconsin is also badly flawed. They are elected after initial appointment and there is no retirement age. This is why we have intemperate and unfit judges like this all over the country."
Judge Schroeder has continued to make headlines throughout the Rittenhouse trial, by siding with the defense in many instances and also by refusing motions to admit evidence by prosecutors showing Kyle Rittenhouse’s involvement in an earlier instance of fight.
Schroeder had also previously made a scene angrily reprimanded the prosecution and refused to allow those shot by Rittenhouse being called ‘victims’ and rather let them being called ‘rioters, ‘looters’ and similar names. Twitter reacted to Schroeder’s take on the trial as well, with most criticising his comments while a few felt the judge was merely pointing out at the supply logjam involving the supply chain.
The Rittenhouse case will be starting its closing arguments on Monday and the judge has set time limits of two and a half hours for each side.
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