Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial for the shooting of three men – two of whom died – immediately after the protests in Wissin Kenosha on August 25, 2020.
Protests erupted after Kenosha police shot and wounded black man Jacob Blake. The episode, which was filmed on a cell phone video, came at a time when protests were being held around the country over the murder of George Floyd and the exploitation of black Americans by police.
Kenosha experienced widespread looting, arson, and destruction of property in the days after Blake was shot. Mr. Rittenhouse’s shootings, which he said took place in self-defense, took place on the third night of the city’s protests.
Intentional homicide in the first degree.
Attempted first-degree intentional murder.
First-degree reckless murder.
Careless endangerment (two points).
Murder charges that correspond to what other states call murder charges lead to up to life imprisonment. The criminal charge was dismissed towards the end of the trial.
Mr. Rittenhouse, now 18, was 17 when the shooting took place. He lived with his mother in Antioch, Ill., Just across the border from Wisconsin. His father lived in Kenosha.
Mr. Rittenhouse had worked for some time as a lifeguard in Kenosha County and held a military-style semi-automatic rifle in Wisconsin that a friend said had been bought for him by a friend.
Long before the shooting, Mr. Rittenhouse’s social media accounts were full of messages supporting the police and the Blue Lives Matter. He had been a cadet for a program aimed at young police officers.
Those who were shot
Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, from Kenosha. He was killed.
Anthony Huber, 26, who lived in Kenosha County. He was killed.
Gaige Grosskreutz, then 26, a doctor from West Allis, Wis., Was shot in the arm and survived.
The trial judge has reiterated the long-standing rule that, because the issue of self-defense is on the agenda, persons shot cannot be called “victims” in his courtroom.
On the evening of August 25, protesters filled Civic Center Park in downtown Kenosha, opposite a barricaded courthouse defended by police and National Guard forces. There were also people there who were wearing camouflage and carrying rifles with ammunition attached to their chest. This is legal for adults in Wisconsin, the open state.
Some protesters threw fireworks and water bottles at police officers who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. The crowd was eventually driven out of the Civic Center Park onto Sheridan Road, which is the main street. By late evening, most of the protesters had left the area, but some remained on Sheridan Road, occasionally quarreling and quarreling with several dozen people who said they were there to defend the city.
A video taken that night showed that Mr. Rittenhouse, who had joined a group of armed people who said he was there to protect businesses, was moving down Sheridan Road and offering medical assistance to protesters. Mr Rosenbaum, who had joined the city center shortly before midnight, drove him to the car park.
A man nearby fired a handgun into the air. Just as Mr. Rittenhouse turned to the sound of the fire, Mr. Rosenbaum rushed toward him. Mr. Rittenhouse shot four times, shooting Mr. Rosenbaum in the head, the video shows.
Mr. Rittenhouse then fled along Sheridan Road in pursuit with at least a dozen members. One could hear a shout, “It’s a shooter!”
A moment later, Mr. Rittenhouse stumbled and fell and then shot two other people chasing him, Mr. Huber and Grosskreutz.
When the police vehicles arrived, Mr. Rittenhouse walked towards them with his hands raised, but they drove past him, trying to reach the people shot.