KENOSHA, Wis. — Judge Bruce Schroeder has been a polarizing figure throughout the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
A televised and highly publicized event, some members of the public are letting Judge Schroeder, through the court, know what they think about his handling of the case.
Throughout the trial, the Kenosha County Clerk of Courts office has received hundreds of emails, faxes and letters.
Some are directed at Rittenhouse, but most seem to be addressed to Judge Schroeder.
It is a mix of criticism and praise — some polite, some crude and threatening.
A few excerpts: "get him the **** out of the court or we will be coming to remove him!"
"... time to put Bruce [sic] out to pasture."
"... he's only a judge by day but can be a victim by night."
Other emails tell the judge to keep up the good work:
"... thank you to Judge Schroeder for giving Kyle Rittenhouse a fair trial."
"... please stay the course of honor, truth and justice."
"... you are a patriot."
Many attorneys have been weighing in on Schroeder's behavior in court, including yelling at the lead prosecutor and encouraging the courtroom — in front of the jury — to applaud a veteran on Veteran's Day. That vet also happened to be the defense's lead witness.
Jillian Scheidegger, of Cafferty & Scheidegger in Racine, has practiced law in front of Schroeder before.
"Not to say this comes with the territory [the threats against the judge], but the reality is, it does happen from time to time," said Scheidegger.
She believes some of the anger is misguided.
"You have people from outside the trial, and throughout the litigation leading up to the trial, who as a layperson interprets certain rulings and certain court orders in a way, that they believe to be incendiary, that they believe to have certain implications, that are inaccurate," said Scheidegger.
She said his main focus, as it's always been, is to ensure a fair trial for the defendant.
Other legal experts have suggested Schroeder may have crossed the line at times, especially in moments that have the potential to bias the jury.
The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department said it's aware of the threats against Schroeder. In cooperation with the County Court, the sheriff's department said it's monitoring all mail — emailed and posted — that's directed at the judge.