Kyle Rittenhouse Jury Seated: Of 20 Jurors, Only One Is Person of Color

Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Jury Selection Race
The outcome of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial will reportedly be decided by a jury panel consisting of 19 white people and one person of color. Rittenhouse is pictured during the jury selection hearing in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on November 1, 2021. Sean Krajacic/Getty

The fate of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was charged in the deaths of two Black Lives Matter protesters last year, will reportedly be decided by a jury pool that includes a single person of color.

The Rittenhouse jury was seated in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday after a one-day court session. Opening arguments in the trial, which is expected to last around two weeks, are set to begin on Tuesday. The selected 12 jurors and eight alternates consist of nine men and 11 women, including the person of color, according to USA Today.

Prosecutors have charged Rittenhouse with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and several other charges for shooting and killing Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and shooting and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz during a protest against the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, on August 25, 2020.

The selection of an overwhelmingly white jury could be a contentious issue due to the racial and political overtones of the trial, although no people of color were directly involved. Rittenhouse is white, as were all three of the people that he shot.

Potential jurors were instructed to not identify their race during the selection process, according to the Associated Press. It was not immediately clear whether the single juror of color was one of the 12 primary jurors or an alternate.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, traveled from Illinois to attend the protest while armed with an assault rifle. His defense team argues that he acted in self-defense.

The shootings quickly became a political issue. Some of the teen's supporters praised him as a "patriot," while former President Donald Trump indicated support for the contention that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense before the 2020 election.

Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is presiding over the trial, urged jurors to ignore the political aspects of the trial during the jury selection hearing on Monday.

"This case has become very political," said Schroeder. "You could go out now and read things from all across the political spectrum about this case, most of which is written by people who know nothing."

Critics have questioned the impartiality of Schroeder in the lead-up to the trial. Last week, the judge ruled that prosectors cannot refer to the men who Rittenhouse shot as "victims," while defense attorneys can refer to them as "rioters" and "looters."

Rittenhouse was released from custody last November after a $2 million bond was posted. He could be sentenced to life in prison if he is convicted on all charges.

Newsweek reached out to Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, who is leading the prosecution, for comment.