KENOSHA—Kyle Rittenhouse, the notorious gun-wielding white teenager accused of killing two people and attempting to kill a third during a violent police protest last August, has been found not guilty of all charges. against him in a courtroom in Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse, 18, faces a series of charges, including first-degree reckless murder, for his conduct on August 25, 2020, amid unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. after police shot Jacob Blake, a local black father. Of the two incidents recorded by the camera, Rittenhouse fires an AR-15 and kills 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber. He also severely injured Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27.
As the verdict was being read, a trembling Rittenhouse cried and collapsed. His mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, and the other family were seen crying in the courtroom. After Kenosha Judge Bruce Schroeder asserted that he “couldn’t have asked for a better jury” and said they were free to leave the Kenosha courthouse, the sheriff escorted Rittenhouse through the back door.
“The jury represented our community in this trial and spoke,” Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger told reporters.
Mark Richards, one of Rittenhouse’s attorneys, speak that the teen was “relieved” by the verdict “and he looks forward to getting on with his life.”
“Having a jury of 12 find him not guilty means the whole world to him, in practical and symbolic ways,” Richards said. reporters, adding that Rittenhouse left court immediately to go home.
The ruling, delivered after 24 hours, marks the end of a chapter of a highly divisive case that has left conservatives protest behind teenager—And the latest episode in a story that serves as a demonstration for the division is getting sharper over gun rights and race in America.
Huber’s parents said in a statement Friday that they were “heartbroken and angry” by the jury’s decision.
“There is no justice today,” Karen Bloom and John Huber said. “Today’s sentencing means that there is no accountability for the man who killed our son. It sends out the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence and then use the danger they’ve created to justify shooting. people on the street. We hope that decent people will join us in vigorously rejecting that message and demanding more of the law, our officials, and our justice system.”
The shocking acquittal raised the prospect of a new wave of unrest in Wisconsin and across the country.
“There is a significant risk that there will be instability regardless of the outcome. Simply because the case is so political and one side wins, supporters of the other side will feel a serious injustice has occurred,” Keith A. Findley, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin, told The Daily Beast before the verdict.
“For those on the left and Black Live Matter members, the acquittal is just another expression of how the system treats and protects white defendants,” Findley added.
Kenosha residents immediately expressed outrage at the decision.
“Oh my god! I know it!” Charisse Henderson, 44, told The Daily Beast. “Between the judge and this clown performance… the judge is all because of Kyle. It has no meaning. My heart just goes out for the victims of this condition. That judge doesn’t care about the victims or the parents. It’s in plain sight, for the world to see. Is he Kyle’s grandfather or something? “
Henderson said the black community felt quiet again, after the officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times was also not responsible.
“I am very worried about what will happen (today) in Kenosha,” she said. “It was another slap in the face. I just hope that… don’t burn anything down. We have very few places still standing in Kenosha. “
Outside the courthouse, dozens of protesters cheered the sentencing. Others expressed their anger at the acquittal. “We want the whole country to know that the country you live in right now is not the … America we used to live in,” said Justin Blake, uncle of Jacob Blake, told reporters outside the building.
During proceedings thwarted by threats of confusion and some controversial arguments between Schroeder and prosecutors, the state alleges that Rittenhouse is a “teenage policeman.” who traveled from Illinois to Wisconsin with an AR-15 to meet other armed men claiming to be guardians of the local business.
But throughout the trial, prosecutors made a series of decisions, from who to take a stance on to the crime they chose to attack Rittenhouse, which legal experts told The Daily Beast had may only strengthen the defense. And while there was plenty of video evidence to prove Rittenhouse’s role in the shootings, prosecutors failed to produce any new damning material during the trial that would blow up the self-defense claim. .
John Gross, clinical associate professor and director of the Public Defender Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Law, told The Daily Beast last week: “This case has always been an uphill battle for prosecution. . “But in a case of this magnitude, the prosecution should have been well prepared and they didn’t. They didn’t look deeply enough into what the defense was going to say, or even what the judge had previously ruled.”
The longing to be convicted was brought into the public imagination — if not in the courtroom — by the revelation that Rittenhouse appeared after being arrested along with members of at least one extremist group, and enjoy a variety of far-right fundraising and other online support. As The Daily Beast previously reported, Rittenhouse’s social media accounts at the time of the shooting were also filled with words of support for pro-police activism, and he displayed a fervent love of guns. News on Buzzfeed further reported that Rittenhouse posted a TikTok Videos from Donald Trump’s January 2020 rally in Des Moines, Iowa — where he sat in the front row.
However, the defense group insists that the shootings were justifiable because they were carried out in self-defence. Discuss self defense in WisconsinRittenhouse’s attorneys are trying to prove that the then 17-year-old had no choice but to use deadly force “to prevent imminent death or major bodily harm to himself.” Dear.”
During an already chaotic protest over Blake’s shooting last August, a video played in court showed Rittenhouse, then 17, shooting Rosenbaum after the shooting. Unarmed man throws a plastic bag his way. As Rittenhouse fled the scene, still holding his AR-15, in another video the teenager was seen running down the street with some protesters following.
On behalf of his own testimony, Rittenhouse asserted to the jury that Rosenbaum had threatened to kill him twice — including one instance when the dead man was armed with chains while shouting, “If I Catch any of you alone, I’ll kill you.”
When pressed by prosecutors during cross-examination as to why he felt the need to shoot Rosenbaum unarmed, Rittenhouse insisted that he “didn’t want to have to shoot him” but if he quit His weapon, Rosenbaum “will use it to kill me and probably many more”.
Doug Kelley, a forensic pathologist with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office, previously testified that Rittenhouse ended up shooting Rosenbaum four times. That includes twice in the front, once in the back and once along his head.
But a prosecution witness, Rosenbaum’s fiancée, Kariann Swart, may have sown doubt in the deadly interaction. In the stands, she revealed that Rosenbaum was taking medication for bipolar disorder and depression—And being unable to buy his prescriptions from a nearby pharmacy was sold due to the unrest that lasted for several days.
After the shooting, Rittenhouse said he tried to flee from a group of protesters, which included Huber. Video played in court showed Huber hitting Rittenhouse on the head with a skateboard and reaching for the teen’s gun after Rittenhouse tripped to the ground.
Rittenhouse was later seen on video showing Huber in the chest before Grosskreutz walked over to the teenager. Prosecutors claimed that Rittenhouse then fired a second shot that hit Grosskreutz in the arm, before he got up from the ground and fled the scene. Kelley, the medical examiner, noted in his testimony that Huber was killed with a single shot to the chest that also caused major trauma to his heart and lungs.
Grosskreutz, who also testified for the prosecution, told jurors that the gunshot wound he sustained from Rittenhouse had “evaporated” his biceps.
“I think the defendant was an active shooter,” Grosskreutz said, adding that at one point during the argument he thought “he was going to die.”
But Grosskreutz’s account of the shooting may also have clouded the waters after he admitted on the ground that he was armed that night — and that he had initially lied to the police. investigators that his pistol had fallen out of its holster.
While Grosskreutz is believed to be the prosecution’s primary witness, Gross previously told The Daily Beast he ended up “describing a self-defense theory to Rittenhouse.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/kyle-rittenhouse-acquitted-in-bombshell-end-to-vigilante-murder-trial?source=articles&via=rss Kyle Rittenhouse arrested in bomb blast ends murder vigil trial