Fired Ferguson officer identified as armed demonstrator at Rittenhouse trial


A demonstrator armed with an AR-15 style weapon protests outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse as the jury deliberates for a second day in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on November 17, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse, a teenager, faces homicide charges and other offenses in the fatal shootings of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and for shooting and wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz during unrest in Kenosha that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

KENOSHA, Wis. – An armed man spotted outside the site of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial has been identified as a former Ferguson police officer who’d been fired from the department.

On Wednesday, a man calling himself “Maserati Mike” joined the growing throng of demonstrators outside the Kenosha County Courthouse. He was dressed in slacks, dress shoes, and a button-up shirt. He also wore a tactical vest and carried a bullhorn and long rifle.

According to the Grand Isle Independent, the man has appeared during the past week, playing music from the bullhorn and accusing Black Lives Matter of being a terrorist organization.

A report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Kenosha County sheriff’s deputies confronted the man and asked him to put the weapon away after it was determined the man did not have a concealed carry license and was within 1,000 feet of a school. The man complied and left the area in a Maserati.

That evening, Twitter sleuths identified “Maserati Mike” as Jesse Kline, a former officer with the Ferguson Police Department.

Kline confirmed his identity to the Journal Sentinel on Thursday. That same day, Kline returned outside the courthouse with a gun case and a dog. And while the Journal Sentinal could ascertain what was in the case, the Independent and others reported the case contained a large adult toy.

Kline was fired from the Ferguson police force in Aug. 2018 over stalking and assault charges. At the time, prosecutors said Officer Kline attacked and threatened a former roommate and her boyfriend at the couple’s Maplewood residence. The woman said she used to be roommates and good friends with Jesse Kline but the friendship deteriorated when she rejected his advances.

Charges in that case were ultimately dropped due to a lack of witness cooperation.

Police question a demonstrator armed with an AR-15 style weapon outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse as the jury deliberates for a second day in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on November 17, 2021, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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