Courtroom hearings have long been aired on television. Take the O. J. Simpson Trial for instance.
Just as the first trials to air live on CSPAN shifted the way the public interacts with court hearings. YouTube, and live streaming are making another shift that few have yet recognize.
And a prime example of this shift occurred today during the Rittenhouse trial.
November 5th, 2021, the 5th day of the trial for Kyle Rittenhouse commenced.
YouTuber CJTV took to his stream to watch the trial with his audience.
And what happened next may have changed history.
Background of the Rittenhouse Trial
Kyle Rittenhouse faces 6 counts involving a shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. These charges stem from a shooting that occurred during the protests over the police involved shooting of Jacob Blake last year. Rittenhouse was in Kenosha with others to protect a car lot from damage caused by civil unrest. The car lot in question is Car Source. Which inevitably saw over 100 of its cars burned and completely destroyed during the protests.
We will get back to that in a moment.
Enter YouTuber CJTV
YouTuber CJTV, or CJ was in Kenosha during the night of the shooting. He had been in the area in the nights leading up to the shooting, and had been live streaming the civil unrest as it occurred. Including many of the fires that destroyed property.
CJ was even a witness to the shooting events. In fact, he helped put a tourniquet on the arm of Gaige P. Grosskreutz immediately after he was shot in the arm by Rittenhouse. CJ remained in Kenosha and gathered footage of the aftermath of the protests. Some of CJ’s footage has been used as evidence in the trial already.
One of the pieces reordered by CJ was the documentation of the damage to the Car Source lot. Which is owned by the Khindri family. In documenting the damage, CJ interviewed Anmol and his brother. That video will come into play in a moment.
Anmol Khindri Takes The Witness Stand
On the 5th day of the Rittenhouse trial, Anmol Khindri was called to the witness stand to testify about the events of the evening. And as to what, if anything, he knew about Rittenhouse. He was apprehensive to answer many of the questions posed to him. He claimed he either did not know the answers to, or could not understand, the questions he was asked.
At one point, Anmol was asked specifically how much inventory he had lost in 2020 during the civil unrest. At which point he claimed not to be able to provide a number.
“How much money in your businesses in terms of damage?” -Defense Attorney Corey Chirafisi
“I cannot give you an exact number at this moment.” –Witness Anmol Khindri
“Can you give me a ballpark? ‘More than $100,000?'” –Defense Attorney
“More than 250,000?” –Defense Attorney
“I do not know sir” –Witness
Further, he said he did have insurance on the cars that were damaged. Which he apparently also testified to under oath.
However, his statements were in direct contrast to the previously mentioned interview that CJ had gotten of Anmol and his brother. This appeared to upset CJ as he watched the testimony unfold, and he asked his audience for the email of the Defense.
At which point he emailed the footage to the Defense, and even called their office. They answered, but he muted the call at some point so the audience could not hear.
And then this happened…
CJ’ s Interview is Used to “Discredit” the Statements Made By Khindri
About 15 minutes after CJ called Rittenhouse’s attorney’s office. Defense attorney Mark Richards approaches his co-counsel attorney, Corey Chirafisi, who had been cross-examining the witness.
Richards hands Chirafisi a tablet and points to something on the screen, they look at the screen for a moment.
Then the Defense Attorney approaches the microphone with the tablet in hand and begins to quote Anmol from CJTV’s interview:
“Have you provided interviews as it relates to the damage to your property?” –Defense Attorney Corey Chirafisi
“I may have.”- Khindri
“I’m looking at one of those interviews right now. And what I want to ask you is, if this sounds about right to you taking it off of your interview. 137 vehicles were burned on your lot. That sound about right?” –Defense Attorney
“If that’s what it says… I do not know the numbers off top my head. I’m sorry. I don’t have.” –Witness
“Would you challenge that it was 137 Or does that sound about pretty close?” –Defense Attorney
“$2.5 million in losses? Sound about right.” –Defense Attorney
“I cannot, I do not, I don’t know. My dad handles the money part of the business.” –Witness
“You, your family had to hire a lawyer, because your insurance wasn’t going to cover those damages.” –Defense Attorney
“That is not true.” –Witness
The Next Level of Freedom of the Press?
Having watched this unfold in real time was astonishing to me. Here’s the deal, I watched Youtuber CJTV catch a statement from a witness, which contrasted an interview he had personally had with the witness. And in real-time, while sitting in his office in Seattle, he forwarded that video to an ongoing court case in Kenosha, WI. And got that evidence on the record in less than the span of 30 minutes.
The evidence provided appeared to, in my point of view, entirely discredit the witness. Which is important because he was essentially testifying that he had not asked Rittenhouse, or any others, to help guard the Car Source property.
Freedom of the Press Has Taken On A New Meaning
This also goes to show how important freedom of the press is, as well as the work being done by first amendment auditors. Much of the evidence being provided in the Rittenhouse Trial was provided by freelance videographers.
CJTV being one of them. His footage has already been used in the hearing. And it is likely that the interview he was able to supply today will aid to correct the record.
I met CJTV while filming the protests in Elizabeth City over Andrew Brown. I highly recommend his channel and coverage of the Rittenhouse Trial. He provides a unique point of view having been so personally involved.