MILWAUKEE — Over the last two weeks we've seen both the prosecution and the defense in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial use cell phone video as part of their evidence.
The use of cell phone video is becoming more and more common in these types of trials. Minneapolis based lawyer Jeffrey Storms said that's because it's unfiltered and it's in real time, which is most important.
Storms is a partner at Newmark Storms Dworak LLC and has previously represented the family of George Floyd.
"Since we have these citizen journalists almost everywhere we go, every time something of significance or substance happens, there's an increased likelihood that someone is there to record that event," Storms said.
There were many citizen journalists in Kenosha the night of August 25, 2020 when Rittenhouse shot three people, killing two of them. Several of the videos that were posted and shared online from that night are now being played for a jury inside the Kenosha Courthouse.
Storms said the ability to use cell phone video from citizen journalists can have a significant impact on what the jury ultimately decides.
"Seeing is believing," Storms said. "It's very hard for the average person to believe that certain individuals who hold certain positions in society would abuse that trust. And so the ability to see that evidence has given us results in either criminal or civil proceedings that we otherwise wouldn't have had."
Because cell phone video is so prevalent in everyday life, it will likely continue being a key component in trials. Storms called the use of cell phone video in court cases "on of the biggest game changers."