Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder has the eyes of the nation on him right now. During trial Thursday, Schroeder made a racial comment that has caused outrage on social media.
Many believe the quip, which was an attempt at a joke, was inappropriate.
“I hope the Asian food isn’t coming … isn’t on one of those boats along Long Beach Harbor,” said Schroeder in response to an inquiry for a lunch break.
The comment may be in regard to the situation unfolding on the west coast. A record-breaking number of cargo ships are waiting off the coast of California due to a backup at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Some social media users caught wind of the backup and exaggerated the facts:
“This is current map of cargo containers at sea waiting to port around the U.S.,” reads the caption of a viral Oct. 21 Facebook post, which accumulated 3,000 shares in a week. “There are now 200,000 containers just at the Long Beach, CA port waiting to dock.”
The 200,000 figure appears to come from a misunderstanding of a statement by a Port of Los Angeles official.
Gene Seroka, the port’s executive director, said the facility had about 200,000 shipping containers still on ships at sea, CNN reported on Oct. 19.
However, that’s in Los Angeles, not at Long Beach Port as the Facebook post claims.
As a result, USA TODAY rated the claim that 200,000 containers are “waiting to dock” as false:
“Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that an image shows 200,000 cargo containers waiting to dock at Long Beach Port in California. The image is a screengrab from a vessel-tracking website that has been previously the subject of misinformation.”
“The company confirmed to USA TODAY the green arrows in the image represent actively moving ships, not those waiting to dock. The day the image was posted there were 108 container ships waiting to dock at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.”
Judge asks the courtroom to applaud veterans
In a separate incident Thursday morning, Schroeder asked the courtroom if anyone was a veteran, as Thursday is Veteran’s Day. The only person who replied “yes” was expert witness John Black.
Schroeder asked Black “what branch?” Black responded “Army, sir.”
“Okay, and I think we can give a round of applause to the people who have served our country,” said Schroeder.
People in the gallery began to applaud, as well as, a defense attorney and Rittenhouse who gingerly clapped.
Many on social media have pointed to this as an oddity — for a judge to show admiration for an expert witness.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Rittenhouse trial judge Bruce Schroeder makes ‘Asian food’ comment
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