Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder made an outburst in court during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. It's not something seen frequently, but the Washington Post explained that it isn't the first time this judge has been accused of overstepping his authority in court.
Schroeder believes that trials can be easily manipulated by prosecutors and his "reputation has some in Kenosha worried," said the report. "The 75-year-old judge is running the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, now in its second week, which will determine if the 18-year-old who brought his assault rifle to town in August 2020 is guilty of homicide. Rittenhouse fatally shot two people and badly wounded a third during unrest that followed a police shooting."
The report noted that Schroeder once convicted a woman of shoplifting and demanded that she tell an employee of a store she entered that she had committed theft. It was then overturned by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
There was another case in the 1980s in which he demanded that a babysitter accused of molesting a child get an AIDS test. He then began demanding that anyone accused of being a sex worker also submit to that regardless of their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
"There was no statutory authority for him to do that," said the babysitter's lawyer, John Anthony Ward. "But he's been on the cutting edge with many of my cases."
Ward has appeared before Schroder about 500 times, he said.
Even an adult who had a case in the court as a juvenile admitted he got a slap on the wrist from Schroder.
"He said 'I'll let you go this time. But if I ever see you again, I'll put you away for life,'" said the man.
Then when the man appeared with another charge as an adult he asked for another judge, noting the judge's warning.
"He's a stickler. But he does what a judge is supposed to do," he said. "He'll laugh with you, and smile with you, and then he'll book you."
Schroder was also attacked early on in the trial when he told the prosecutors that they couldn't call the people Rittenhouse shot and killed "victims."
As TIME explained at the time, there is a growing debate about the accusation that a protester is a rioter.
"Riot suggests pandemonium," noted law and African American Studies Professor john a. powell. (He doesn't capitalize his name due to it being a slave name.)
"What's happening across the country and across the world is a call for justice, a call for police accountability, for the recognition that black lives matter too," powell said. "Rioting detracts from all of that."