Kyle Rittenhouse v. Wisconsin case overview


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KENOSHA, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 18: Kyle Rittenhouse, center, looks over to his attorneys as the jury is dismissed for the day during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 18, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, was 17 at the time of the shooting and armed with an assault rifle. He faces counts of felony homicide and felony attempted homicide. (Photo by Sean Krajacic – Pool/Getty Images)

Luka Vaicekauskas, Features Editor

Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, is known as an Illinois teen who reportedly killed two Kenosha residents and wounded another following the unrest due to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Aug. 25, 2020.

The then 17-year-old was seen walking the streets of Wisconsin with an AR-15 weapon during the protests that erupted. All three men shot are white, just as Rittenhouse himself. 

Rittenhouse was accused of murdering Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, as well as attempting to murder Gaige Grosskreutz. 

However, on Nov. 19, 2021, after a three-week trial, a jury acquitted him on all charges following a 26-hour deliberation- the unanonymous discussion about the case between the jury, in order to reach a conclusion.

Conclusively, the jury found him not guilty on the five charges, including first-degree intentional homicide, which captivated, and divided, the nation. 

Rittenhouse was arrested in August 2020 and released on a $2 million bond after pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense as the reason behind the shootings. His trial was then delayed on March 10, 2021 and did not start until Nov. 1. 

He was charged with counts of intentional, reckless and attempted homicide and reckless endangerment. Additionally, the misdemeanor charge of possessing a firearm as a minor and the curfew violation charge was dismissed soon in the beginning of this lawsuit. 

Throughout the three-week trial, jurors saw testimonies from multiple people, including Grosskreutz himself, who testified that he “thought the defendant [Rittenhouse] was an active shooter.” 

On Nov. 10, Rittenhouse took the stand and sobbed during his testimony, forcing the proceedings to be halted and resting periods called upon. 

While testifying, Rittenhouse suggested he was attacked by Rosenbaum first. He also added that he saw videos of violence being instigated in Kenosha, and felt he was helping to protect the town. 

Social media rumors on Instagram and Twitter suggested he had a type of affiliation with the Kenosha Police and was part of a “police explorer” program. 

After the verdict, the 18-year-old gave Tucker Carlson of Fox News an exclusive interview, with the rest of the content as part of a documentary on Tucker Carlson Originals on FOX Nation in December. The documentary will also feature behind-the-scenes access to Rittenhouse and his defense team, according to an email from a Fox News Media spokesperson. 

This case has sparked passionate reactions from the American public since the moment Rittenhouse fired his rifle that night. Mostly, due to the fact that for the past two weeks, the trial has commanded the nation’s attention, due to its wide TV reporting. 

Additionally, the White House released a statement from President Biden on Friday saying that the verdict “will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included,” but that “we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken.” Biden urged people to refrain from violence and property destruction and said he had contacted Wisconsin’s governor to offer “support and any assistance needed to ensure public safety.”