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Friday, December 3, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse cleared of all charges in Kenosha shooting – The Daily Gazette

Kenosha, Wis. – Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges on Friday after pleading for self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shooting that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice.

Rittenhouse, 18, cried at the verdict and hugged one of his lawyers.

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He was accused of murder, attempted murder and recklessness after killing two people and injuring a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle during a turbulent night of protests over police violence against black people in the summer of 2020. was charged with endangerment. The former police young cadet is white, as is the shot he saw.

The jury, which appeared to be excessively white, was deliberated for about 3 1/2 days.
Rittenhouse could face life in prison if the most serious charge, first degree intentional manslaughter, or what some other state calls first-degree murder.

As the verdict drew near, Governor Tony Evers pleaded for calm and said 500 National Guard members would be ready for duty in Kenosha if needed.

Rittenhouse was 17 when he moved from his home in Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha, when businesses in the city were ransacked and a black man, Jacob Blake, was shot dead by a white police officer.

Carrying a weapon that officials said was illegally purchased for underage Rittenhouse, he was joined by other armed civilians in what they said was an attempt to protect property and provide medical aid.

Bystander and drone video captured most of the frenzied chain of events: Rittenhouse killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum, then shot 26-year-old protester Anthony Huber, and now wounded 28-year-old protester Gage Grosskretz.

Prosecutors portrayed Rittenhouse as a “wannabe soldier” who went looking for trouble that night and was responsible for creating a dangerous situation in the first place by pointing his rifle at protesters.

But Rittenhouse testified: “I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself.”

Crying at one point, she told the jury that she opened fire after Rosenbaum chased her and held her for her gun. He said that he feared that his rifle would be snatched and he used to kill her.

Huber was killed after hitting Rittenhouse in the head or neck with a skateboard, and Groskretz was shot while pointing his gun at Rittenhouse.

The case was part of an extraordinary confluence of trials that reflected the deep division over race in the United States: in Georgia, three white men are facing trial for the murder of Ahmed Arbery, while in Virginia, a trial is pending. Fatal white-supremacist rally held in Charlottesville in 2017.

Read Also:  Witness describes a suspect in the attack on a Christmas parade in Wisconsin as "a black man with dreadlocks."

The exact racial makeup of the Rittenhouse jury was unclear as the jury was not asked about their race in court.

The bloodshed in Kenosha, the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other cases involving the use of police force against black people occurred during a summer of sometimes violent protests across America.

While some Americans denounced Rittenhouse as a vigilante, some hailed him as a hero who exercised his Second Amendment gun rights and tried to stop the anarchy.

Then-President Donald Trump said it appeared that Rittenhouse was “attacked very violently.” Supporters donated more than $2 million to his legal defense.

Rittenhouse was also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by a man under the age of 18, a misdemeanor that seemed likely to lead to a conviction. But Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed that charge before a jury deliberation when the defense argued that Wisconsin law did not apply to the long-barreled rifle used by Rittenhouse.

Schroeder’s handling of the trial drew attention to several points, including applause for military veterans on Veterans Day just before a defense witness in the military took the stand. The judge also let Rittenhouse pull the juror number from a raffle drum to set the final 12, which sparked discussions.

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Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense was bolstered by the videos and testimonies of some prosecution witnesses.

Eyewitnesses described Rosenbaum as “overly aggressive” and said he dared others to shoot him and threatened to kill Rittenhouse earlier that night. A videographer testified that Rosenbaum leapt to the rifle just before he was shot, and a pathologist said his injuries indicated his hand was over the barrel.

In addition, Rosenbaum’s fiancé revealed that he was on medication for bipolar disorder and depression. Rittenhouse’s lawyers called Rosenbaum a “crazy person.”

Some civil rights activists saw a racial double standard in the way they treated the white gunman.
On the night of the shootings, law enforcement officers spotted Rittenhouse and other armed men on the streets despite the curfew and handed them bottles of water, with one officer over the loudspeaker saying, “We appreciate you guys.”

Later, amid the uproar, Rittenhouse managed to cross the police line with a weapon over his shoulder and was not arrested that night.

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