In the midst of the unrest in Kenosha after the shooting of Jacob Blake by the police, Kyle Rittenhouse (17 years old) from Antioch in Illinois shot and killed two people and injured another one in the arm in confrontations at two locations. Rittenhouse wounded Rittenhouse with a handgun, while he was armed by a Smith & Wesson M&P15 gun. Rittenhouse claimed to be an EMT, and was also carrying a medkit.

Rittenhouse was followed by a group that included a Kenosha resident Joseph Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum attempted to grab Rittenhouse’s rifle when a third party fired a gunshot into the air. Rittenhouse fired four shots at Rosenbaum and he died shortly after. Rittenhouse fell while running and was kicked by a man at the second location. Rittenhouse shot at the man twice, but missed. Protesters approached Rittenhouse as he lay on the ground. Silver Lake resident Anthony Huber hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard, and struggled to control his rifle. Rittenhouse shot at Huber once and killed him. Gaige Grosskreutz, a West Allis resident, approached Rittenhouse with a handgun. Rittenhouse shot him once and severed his right biceps.

Rittenhouse was charged with multiple charges of homicide, unlawful possession of firearms, and Rittenhouse was also charged with another teen for unlawfully supplying Rittenhouse with his rifle. Rittenhouse’s lawyers claim that he acted in self defense after hearing the gun being discharged and in response to physical confrontations with protesters. The shootings were widely covered by the media and public sentiment was divided. Rittenhouse’s trial began in Kenosha on November 1, 2021.

Kyle Rittenhouse

Kyle Rittenhouse

Kyle Rittenhouse Biography/Wiki

Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 years old at the time of the Kenosha disturbances. He had been a part of local police cadet programs and had supported law enforcement and the Blue Lives Matter movement on social media. Seven months before the shootings, Rittenhouse had attended a Trump rally at Des Moines. Rittenhouse was living in Antioch, Illinois at the border with Wisconsin.

His attorneys claim that Rittenhouse and Dominick David Black “armed ourselves with rifles” after hearing about a local business owner looking for help in defending his car dealership. The previous night, the dealership suffered arson damage of $1.5 million. Richie McGinniss, Daily Caller reporter, asked Rittenhouse why Rittenhouse was there. He replied: “So people are getting hurt, and our job it to protect this company. Helping people is part of my job. I will run into danger if someone is hurt. Because I need to protect myself, that’s why I carry my rifle. My med kit is also with me. Rittenhouse was stopped by police from returning to the dealership at some point.

Rittenhouse was seen in several videos made by protesters and bystanders in the hours before the shooting. He also appeared in two interviews. One was by McGinniss and the other by a livestreamer who was at the car dealership, where he and other armed men were stationed. Rittenhouse was seen offering medical assistance to injured people and talking with officers. Although some of the men in the dealership were associated with the Kenosha Guard they denied any affiliation with Rittenhouse. Their leader also stated that he had never met Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse Extradition and Arrest

Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional murder in Illinois on August 26, 2020. In the criminal complaint Rittenhouse was called a “fugitive of justice”. He claimed that he “fled Wisconsin with the intent to avoid prosecution” for the crime. He was initially scheduled to appear in an extradition hearing on 28 August. A judge granted Rittenhouse’s request to postpone the hearing until September 25, so that he could get his own counsel. He will be charged under Wisconsin law as an adult. Rittenhouse was detained in an Illinois juvenile facility while he waited for extradition.

Six charges are listed in Rittenhouse’s complaint

Joseph Rosenbaum was a first-degree victim of reckless homicide.

Richard McGinnis, a reporter who interviewed Rittenhouse prior to the shooting, was charged with first-degree recklessly endangering Safety

Anthony Huber was convicted of first-degree intentional murder.

attempted first-degree intentional homicide against Gaige Grosskreutz

First-degree recklessly endangering safety of an unknown male victim

A person under 18 may possess a dangerous weapon (the only misdemeanor, the rest are felonies).

A “use of dangerous weapon” modifier is attached to each felony charge. This invokes a Wisconsin law which allows for an additional five years imprisonment for each charge if convicted. The prosecutors claim that the gun was later recovered by law enforcement and identified to be a Smith & Wesson AR-15-style.223 rifle. Rittenhouse stated that he used a coronavirus stimulus money to buy the AR-15 rifle in a prison interview with The Washington Post.

Rittenhouse was represented by L. Lin Wood, Texas Attorney, and Pierce Bainbridge. Kenosha County prosecutor Thomas Binger criticized John M. Pierce, a controversial California attorney. He resigned from the criminal case but continued to act as counsel and fundraiser in civil litigation. Wood and his “FightBack Foundation” refocused their efforts on challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Rittenhouse’s legal team released a statement on August 29, 2020 claiming that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense. Rittenhouse was incorrectly arrested. Rittenhouse’s defense group released an 11-minute narration video that narrates the night. It includes quick cuts from various angles and is about 11 minutes long. According to the video, several shots were fired prior and after Rosenbaum’s shooting. Rosenbaum may have been mistaking Rittenhouse for someone with whom he had a dispute.

Rittenhouse was taken to Wisconsin the next day after Rittenhouse was extradited by an Illinois court on October 30.

Kyle Rittenhouse Bail

After his lawyers posted $2 million bail, Rittenhouse was released on November 20. Family members and lawyers of three of the victims Rittenhouse shot objected to Rittenhouse’s release. They asked for a higher bail amount and expressed concern that Rittenhouse might flee. His lawyers assured them otherwise. Rittenhouse pleaded guilty to all charges on January 5, 2020.

The prosecutors later argued that Rittenhouse’s bond terms should be modified to prohibit Rittenhouse from being associated with white supremacists. Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin police captured Rittenhouse, who was seen drinking in a bar wearing a shirt reading “Free as Fuck” and taking pictures with five men who sang “Proud of Your Boy”, which is a song that Proud Boys members use. The motion was accompanied by a photo of Rittenhouse and two others, who were flashing an “OK”, a hand gesture often used by white supremacists. His release conditions were modified on January 22 to prohibit Rittenhouse from having access to firearms or alcohol and to prevent him from interacting with people or groups that are perceived as a threat to other races or religions.

After a notice mailed to Rittenhouse about a court appearance was returned undeliverable, Rittenhouse was asked for an arrest warrant. Prosecutors claim that Rittenhouse was required to change his address within 48 hours after he moved. Rittenhouse’s lawyer stated that Rittenhouse was staying at an undisclosed location out of concern for his security. His team offered to give the address to the prosecutors if they could ensure its secrecy from public. But the district attorney declined, citing the fact that the information is public. The district attorney informed Rittenhouse’s lawyers that they could file a motion for the judge sealing the public record. However, they never filed such an action. Prosecutors requested Rittenhouse’s bond to be increased by $200,000 At a hearing held on February 11, Judge Bruce Schroeder denied the requests of the prosecutors. He stated that bailees often fail to update their addresses without being arrested.

Kyle Rittenhouse trial

Rittenhouse’s trial started on November 1, 2021 in Kenosha and is currently being presided by Judge Bruce Schroeder. On September 17, Judge Bruce Schroeder rejected the prosecution’s requests to admit Rittenhouse’s outings with Proud Boys members as evidence and another fight he was involved. He argued that these incidents were too different to be used to prove Rittenhouse’s mental state during the shootings. Schroeder determined what testimony would be admissible or not by the defense and prosecution on October 25, 2021. Schroeder ruled that Rittenhouse’s victims could not be called victims, but that they could be described as arsonists and looters if there is evidence that they were involved in such activities. Legal experts commented on the decision, stating that the term victim can be prejudicial in a court. This could heavily influence a jury by presupposing who has been wronged.

Kyle Rittenhouse Personal Information

Digital video has made it possible to expose abuses of power that were often hidden in the past. People can also view shocking footage and make comments about it via social media, before they know all the facts. Americans still reacted to the horrendous sight of George Floyd being slowly killed by a Minneapolis police officer last summer. A second violent encounter took place with similar clarity. Three police officers attempted to arrest a man in Kenosha on Sunday, 23 August. When he saw the officers (who were white) scuffling the man, a neighbor began recording the incident on his phone. The neighbor was unable to see all of the details at first because it started behind a parked S.U.V. The man eventually broke free and went around the vehicle to open the driver’s doors. The officer grabbed the man by his tank top, and shot him seven times from behind.

Kenosha didn’t equip officers with body cameras so footage from neighbors was used as primary documentation. Jacob Blake, the victim, was able to survive, but the incident was immediately viewed as a grim example of a serious problem. According to a Harvard study, Blacks are three times more likely than whites to be shot during a police encounter. Kevin Hart, comedian, tweeted: “What’s the reason for 7 shots ?????” ”

Kenosha was one of the many American cities that protested Floyd’s passing. Many people gathered to support Blake, a twenty-nine year-old man who was staying at the fourplex along with his fiancee Laquisha Bucher. The shooting took place on the eighth anniversary of Izreal, their oldest son. Blake had decorated his apartment for a party and was making hot dogs when Booker and he began quarrelling. Blake took the S.U.V. – Booker’s car rental. Booker said to a 911 dispatcher that he saw Blake wearing the skirt. Blake returned but when police arrived, he was again leaving–this time along with his children. The shooting was witnessed by his sons from the back seat.

Protesters gathered in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse. This limestone building faces Civic Center Park. The area is surrounded by homes and businesses. Many protestors marched peacefully, holding signs. However, the following night, rioters launched bricks and fireworks at police officers. Shopwindows were smashed by looters, and the Department of Corrections building was set on fire. An older man holding a fire extinguisher faced rioters. Someone struck him with a sharp object, breaking his jaw and splitting his nose. In an attempt to denigrate Black Lives Matter, President Donald Trump was highlighting the negative aspects of protests like these. A Papa John’s man stood in front of a broken window and asked, “Are they trying get Trump reelected?” But another moment later, when a man said to protesters, “What y’all don’t fucking understand” was that people live their lives in these businesses. A woman shouted back, „So what?”

Right-wing news outlets presented the most violent images as proof of the ruinous policies in Democratic cities and criticised mainstream media for not acknowledging the violence. Joan Donovan is the chief research officer at Harvard’s Shorenstein Centre. She identified One America News Network and Glenn Beck on BlazeTV as proponents of “riot porn.” Donovan also wrote in MIT Technology Review that these footage was designed to “overwhelm” viewers and inspire vigilantes and militias to “live out their fantasies of taking justice into themselves.”

Kevin Mathewson was a former city councilman who brought a handgun to meetings. He decided that civilian reinforcements were needed after Kenosha’s march in support of George Floyd. The Kenosha Guard was more of an impulse than a militia and started with a Facebook page. Mathewson posted a request for “Armed Citizens To Protect Our Lives and Property” on August 25th. This was as the city was bracing for another night of protests following Blake’s shooting.

Kristan Harris noticed Mathewson’s post and was intrigued by it. Kristan is a streamer who has posted conspiracy content similar to the Pizzagate variety. He had been streaming protests live all summer and called himself a citizen journalist. Harris wrote a blurb on the Kenosha Guard that Infowars picked up. Many people expressed interest in Mathewson’s presence at the courthouse via Facebook. Mathewson wrote an open letter to Kenosha’s police chief calling himself the “commander” of the Kenosha Guard. He warned that his officers would not tell him to return home under threat of arrest.

Mathewson’s post “Armed Citizens”, elicited comments such as “kill looters, rioters” and Facebook allowed it to remain despite receiving over 400 complaints. Mathewson arrived at the courthouse wearing a Chuck Norris shirt and a semi-automatic gun. Mathewson quickly left the courthouse and returned home. However, others continued to use his Facebook page or similar ones to spread rumors throughout the evening. One commenter said that “someone is getting shot” if “untrained civilians” get scared.

As at other racial justice protests, Kenosha was filled with confused crowds: B.L.M. Antifascists in black block, activists, and right-wing extremists disguised in camouflage. People carried guns across all factions, some more visible than others. It was sometimes difficult to distinguish friend from foe.

A group of libertarians stood south of the courthouse near the gas pumps at the Ultimate Convenience Center. They were dressed in camouflage and had a lot of experience, even though they were not always well-armed. One member ridiculed another for having his rifle incorrectly.