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Kyle Rittenhouse cleared of all charges in Kenosha shootings

KENOSHA, Wisconsin — Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted Friday of all charges after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice.

Rittenhouse, wearing a dark jacket with a burgundy tie and shirt, stood behind the defense table as each not guilty verdict was read. He held back tears and appeared to collapse forward on the table.

The jury of five men and seven women came back with its verdict after deliberating more than 25 hours over the past four days. Rittenhouse, 18, could have gotten life in prison if found guilty of the most serious charge against him.

He was charged with homicide, attempted homicide and recklessly endangering safety for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle.

The shootings took place during a night of protests over police violence against Black people in the tumultuous summer of 2020. Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot. The jury appeared to be overwhelmingly white.

The verdict came after a two-week trial highlighted by emotional and compelling testimony from Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old at the center of debates around self-defense, gun ownership and Black Lives Matter demonstrations. On the stand, he told jurors -- and the viewing public -- that he acted in self-defense.

"I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself," he testified.

The charges stem from the chaotic unrest last year in the wake of the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man. After instances of rioting and fiery destruction, Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, took a medical kit and an AR-15-style rifle and joined up with a group of other armed people in Kenosha on August 25, 2020.

There, Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum -- who was chasing the teenager and threw a bag at him -- and then tried to flee. A crowd of people pursued the teenager, and Rittenhouse shot at an unidentified man who kicked him; fatally shot Anthony Huber, who had hit him with a skateboard; and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed with a pistol.

What happened in the trial

Prosecutors called 22 witnesses over the course of six days as they sought to show Rittenhouse acted recklessly that night and provoked Rosenbaum by pointing the rifle at him, setting off the ensuing series of events.

"That is what provokes this entire incident," Binger said in closing arguments. "When the defendant provokes this incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create."

The prosecution portrayed the three other people who confronted the teen as "heroes" trying to stop what they believed to be an active shooting. Binger also questioned the teenager's decision to take a gun into the city in the first place, calling him a "chaos tourist."

However, on the stand, Rittenhouse testified he acted in self-defense when he shot four times at Rosenbaum, who he said had threatened him earlier, chased him, thrown a bag at him and lunged for his gun. Rittenhouse also referred to the three other people he shot at as part of a "mob" chasing him.

He became emotional and broke down into tears during his testimony as he began to recount the initial shooting, leading to a break in the case.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Mark Richards said Rittenhouse feared for his life when he opened fire.

"Every person who was shot was attacking Kyle. One with a skateboard, one with his hands, and one with his feet, one with a gun," Richards said. "Hands and feet can cause great bodily harm."

The trial featured more than a dozen videos from the night that showed what happened before, during and after the shootings. Most of the facts of what happened that night were not up for debate -- rather, at the heart of the trial was the analysis of Rittenhouse's actions and whether they can be considered "reasonable."

The prosecution faced an uphill challenge in the case because Wisconsin law requires the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rittenhouse did not act in self-defense. But there are limits to a self-defense claim.

"The defendant may intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if the defendant reasonably believed that the force used was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself," the jury instructions explain.

ABC News

Associated Press

CNN

Comments

117 Comments

    1. Please don’t tell leftists to pound anything. They’ll take you seriously and then people will get hurt. It doesn’t take much to trigger the violent left.

  1. He had no business carrying the weapon into that riot, BUT, justice was served he was attacked and they would have certainly killed or severely injured him for simply putting out a dumpster fire. A Pedophile and a woman beater are dead, BFD

        1. you ignorant fool, that charge was dropped because he had the proper legal training which allowed him to legally carry a rifle. the charge was bogus and were applied by a corrupt lying prosecutor

        2. Char Liar Dumbo missed the fine print of the law. The Wisconsin law applied to illegal short barreled rifles and shotguns nitwit. His age had nothing to do with it. His AR15 was a standard 16 inch barrel.

  2. A clear victory for Rittrnhouse
    A clear victory for the right of self defense.
    A clear victory for the Second Amendment.
    Now he will not only sue Biden and the individual anchors that defamed him, but also MSNBC, NBC, CNN and the NYT. He is going to be rich!

    1. This case had nothing to do with right, left, Marxism, or antifa. The jury made the right call given the evidence. The only charge the kid could have been found guilty of was possessing a firearm under age 18. The judge dismissed that charge prior to charging the jury.

      1. Wrong again nitwit. The weapons charge was a joke. Under the Wisconsin statute it has to be an illegal short barreled rifle or shotgun. Rittenhouse’s Smith & Wesson MP AR15 was a legal 16 inch barrel. Obviously you don’t know jack as usual.

  3. Not the first time a killer gets away with Murder. And it won’t be the Last. Thanks to the money and resources the Right Wingers provided this killer, he gets away with murdering 3 human beings. Rittenhouse will burn in Hell, if not sooner!

    1. Get your facts straight. He killed 2 people and injured a third. One of them was a convicted rapist who was yelling the N word. The other was a convicted wife beater.

        1. Bet if this rotten kid would have been declared Guilty the Right Wingers would be on Fox News right now blaming everybody from Big Bird to Pelosi for the Guilty verdict.

          1. Hey nitwit even your senile Joe agreed with the jury’s decision. He finally found out he was not a white supremacist.

          1. An eye for an eye. This moron will get his in his lifetime, if not in the next. And yes, Landers, please hug my nuts.

          1. The dead guys were participating in a BLM riot nitwit. BLM participants are trained Marxists. Just ask Patrice Cullors the founder. You are so daft.

    1. Maybe some of you should look up the definition of ‘Marxism’ in the dictionary. The continued misuse of that word and the word ‘socialism’ on this site is making some participants look like uneducated dweebs.

      1. This dumb Hillbillies think that Karl Marx only wrote in Lowercase because he hated Capitalism.🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩 They probably think Marxism was created by Groucho Marx.

          1. Cute kindergarten joke. Tell that one to your grand daughter. She’ll get a good laugh out of it.

        1. Haven’t read it. But I have read Trump’s Manifesto. One of his best lines is to tell his followers a Lie so often that they’ll believe that it is fact instead of a Lie.

    1. But your extreme TDS keep you harping about Trump instead of senile Joe. The polls are from leftist media sources that you normally believe. So believe them nitwit!

  4. Biden and Democrats doing the people’s business for the People. Trump on the other hand did Trump’s business for Trump only. Trump has never done anything where he didn’t get his cut. Like Lincoln said, You can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. The American people have spoken and they spoke against Trump and his crime Syndicate.

    1. Had the the Marxist not supported Marxists looting and burning none of this would have happened. Thanks Bernie, Kamala the bail bondsman and the Squad.

    2. This is bigger than just about Jacob Blake. It is about Police acting like the Gestapo and not like public servants that serve to protect and defend the public population from crime instead.

          1. Self-defense is a slippery slope. What is considered self defense in one state is called murder in another. Too bad for the victims who are dead regardless.

          2. That’s why we have juries to sort out the facts nitwit not leftists morons like you. Now run along you lost.

  5. CNN and MSNBC will be paying out big multi-million dollar settlements for all that defamation and libel against Rittenhouse. The Covington guy Nick Sandman’s settlement with CNN was $250 million dollars. Even senile Joe is liable for slander. He called Rittenhouse a white supremacist before he was elected to office and used that remark to get votes from the sheeple.

    1. Rittenhouse will be very wealthy. Sandman’s lawyer was on last night and he thinks the settlements, to include Biden, will be many times more than Sandman’s settlements.

  6. Would love for the kid to get a 1 billion dollar settlement from anywhere. That way the families of the victims can sue the idiot in civil court for Wrongful Death. Every lawyer in the world would want to join the Wrongful Death civil lawsuit to get rich themselves.

    1. Those 2 b.i.t.ch.s’ dea.t h was anything but wrong… it was brought about by their lifelong habits of stupi.dity. karma… and as for the bicep missing man. 8 inch miss.

  7. A lawsuit for being called a White Nationalist??? In that case Trump would have sued every commentator that ever appeared on CNN, or even Fox News! He didn’t. And that’s because he would have been laughed out of court.

    1. Living in your libtard bubble nitwit? Obviously you missed the Covington Nick Sandman defamation cases nitwit. CNN had to settle for $250 million dollars. You lose!

    2. Be that as it may, we all know Trump was a white supremacist, a white nationalist, and a threat to national security. That’s why he’s no longer in office.

      1. There is no evidence of anything you just stated. Not one ounce of evidence. White Supremacist do not have black men who support them and work for them in any manner.

  8. Art of the Deal??? Greatest fake fiction book ever written by a Ghostwriter..Why don’t you buy the book to get rich yourself? Please…it’s too early for you to hit the bottle…don’t you think???

        1. I’m not a socialist nitwit. That’s not social welfare like you get nitwit. You have to earn military and civil service retirement. In other words pay your dues. But you know nothing about that you welfare leech.

        2. Unlike you, we all earned our retirements and Social Security. I worked for either a city, county and federal government since I was 18. You are a welfare queen.

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