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Rittenhouse Trial: Debunking the State’s Absurd Blurry Photo ‘Provocation’ Argument


Look where the red arrow is pointing. That’s NOT Rittenhouse’s hand. It can’t be, because the same blob is visible on video before Rittenhouse enters the frame.

Prosecutors finally pulled a rabbit out of a hat during jury instructions, getting the judge to let jurors decide whether Kyle Rittenhouse “provoked” Joseph Rosenbaum by pointing a gun at another man first, but it’s an absurd argument that’s based on a couple of exceptionally blurry and very misleading photos and videos.

Analysis of the prosecutor’s photo and video “evidence” actually provides counter-evidence that Rittenhouse wasn’t pointing the rifle at all. Minimally, there’s reasonable doubt.

Even the judge had trouble deciphering what the state wanted him to look at. “I certainly can’t give a provocation instruction based on a picture I can’t make anything out of,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said at one point.

Rittenhouse trial provocation

How desperate are prosecutors? They’re so desperate that they’re arguing the jury should find that Kyle Rittenhouse provoked Joseph Rosenbaum to chase Rittenhouse down and reach for his gun because they claim Rittenhouse pointed his rifle at another man, Joshua Ziminski, first. Ziminski was armed and allegedly vandalizing cars. He also, Rittenhouse testified, had yelled, “get him and kill him” right before Rosenbaum gave chase. he also allegedly shot a gun in the air.

But the screenshot of one fuzzy photo they want to show jurors is deceptive, and we will explain how below.

In other words, prosecutors are arguing that Rosenbaum had the right to chase Rittenhouse down and kill him because they say he briefly pointed a gun at Ziminski, and that Rittenhouse thus forfeited the right to self-defense. But that’s absurd for a multitude of reasons, among them the fact that Rittenhouse was RUNNING AWAY from Rosenbaum.

If the jury buys the state’s ridiculous provocation argument, it doesn’t eliminate Rittenhouse’s ability to claim self-defense. It does add extra hurdles to it, though, as Rittenhouse would need to also show that he 1) exhausted all available avenues for withdrawal and 2) gave Rosenbaum “adequate notice” that he was withdrawing from the encounter. Still, the fact that Judge Bruce Schroeder is even allowing the jury to CONSIDER provocation is a win for the prosecution.

The concern for the defense is: if there is a juror who just wants to convict, despite the strength of the self-defense claims, will this be the legal life raft they grab onto?

Rittenhouse was running away and only stopped when Rosenbaum had cornered him by cars. Another drone video shows a large number of people were rioting and smashing cars on the other side of those vehicles. The prosecution argues he still had an avenue to escape, but we’re not sure running head-on into a large crowd of active vandals counts. As for notice, isn’t running away notice enough? The prosecution argues he turned back and pointed his weapon at Rosenbaum, but that was because Rosenbaum was chasing him and gaining speed.

Here’s why the state’s argument that Rittenhouse was the provocateur is absurd:

Provocation Debunked

The Prosecution’s Photo Is Incredibly Blurry


Upon closer scrutiny, the photos and videos don’t prove Rittenhouse pointed the gun at all. They are, frankly, too blurry to tell anything for sure, but they do provide several clues that go against the state’s theory. If you don’t believe us, look at the above photos and tell us what YOU see.

For one, the blurry photo, which prosecutors claim shows Rittenhouse lifting the rifle, shows what prosecutors claim is Rittenhouse’s raised arm on the wrong side for him to be carrying the rifle in it (he’s not left-handed, and the supposed raised arm is on his left-hand side. He was carrying the rifle in a sling).

Even if he DID point the gun at Ziminski, which is entirely not proven by the prosecution’s flimsy and misleading “evidence,” how does that provoke ROSENBAUM, who, testimony showed, didn’t even know Ziminski?

You can’t even see Ziminski in that photo at all. Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi said the defense believes the photo “shows the side mirror of the Duramax (a vehicle) and part of the strap from his sling” and no pointing. He also pointed out that Rittenhouse was captured saying, “friendly, friendly, friendly,” on video around the same time.

It is, in short, ridiculous. It is, minimally, reasonable doubt on provocation.

Even the judge couldn’t figure out what was in the blurriest photo the state is trying to use.

Why did the judge allow the provocation instruction then? “It’s the jury’s case; I think they should make the critical decisions,” Schroeder said in court Friday.

The judge, who scrutinized the photos and videos before making his decision to allow the provocation instruction, said at one point, “What am I looking at?”

The White Blob in the Blurry Photo Is NOT Rittenhouse’s Hand, Video Shows


Analysis shows the white blur which the prosecution exhibit on left seems to show as Rittenhouse’s raised left hand – making it possibly look like he’s pointing a gun – is actually present prior to Rittenhouse entering the scene.

Got that? Look where the red arrow is pointing. That’s NOT Rittenhouse’s hand. It can’t be, because the same blob is visible on video before Rittenhouse enters the frame.

That’s deceptive. The prosecutors want to present a screenshot of a video frame that includes the white blob. But it can’t be Rittenhouse’s hand when you watch the video. It just falsely LOOKS LIKE IT in the state’s screenshot.

Here’s an excellent video analysis that shows this point:

The state crime lab analyst who enhanced the photo “took 20 hours to manipulate that photo to get that blurry mess up on the screen,” defense attorney Mark Richards claimed. He said their own expert countered it, showing it wasn’t Rittenhouse pointing a rifle.

The judge said, “I’m not even going to tell you what I saw in it.”

The prosecution claims if Rittenhouse provoked Rosenbaum, then the other shootings were provoked by that provocation, basically. In other words, it all rolls downhill.

But wait – didn’t Gaige Grosskreutz provoke Rittenhouse to shoot him then by advancing toward him while pointing a gun at him from about three feet away? Didn’t Anthony Huber provoke Rittenhouse to shoot him by rushing him, hitting him with a skateboard, and trying to grab his gun? Didn’t Jump Kick man provoke him by rushing him, jumping over him and delivering a kick to his head?

The Drone Video Is Debunked By an Infrared Video

Prosecutor Jim Kraus took pains to stress to the judge that the state is not ONLY relying on the blurry photo to argue provocation. They also have a drone video. They have a detecti