Jury finds Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty in Kenosha protest shootings

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  • Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty by a jury on Friday in his closely watched trial on all charges related to the murder of two unarmed men during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year, and the shooting of a third, armed man .
  • Rittenhouse was just 17 when he fatally shot 26-year-old Anthony Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum with an AR-15-style rifle on August 25, 2020.
  • The murder occurred two days earlier during civil unrest in Kenosha after a black man was shot dead by a white police officer, Jacob Blake, who was paralyzed from the waist down after seven rounds of blows to his back.
  • Blake’s shooting comes three months after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, another black man, igniting protests across the country and demanding reforms in police departments.

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Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty by a jury on Friday of all five criminal charges in his closely watched trial of killing two unarmed men and shooting a third, armed man during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year. .

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On the fourth day of deliberations, the jurors reached their decision.

Rittenhouse, who was shivering as he read the verdict, sat down and cried five times just before 1:15 p.m. ET after calling the jury foreman “not guilty.”

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Judge Bruce Schroeder then thanked the 12 jury members for their service and dismissed them.

On Wednesday, Rittenhouse’s lawyers asked the judge in the case to declare a false trial on the grounds that they had received a copy of a drone video that was of inferior quality compared to one available to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say that video showed then-17-year-old Rittenhouse pointing his AR-15-style rifle at protesters before he shot 26-year-old Anthony Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum with AR-15s. was fatally shot. Style rifle on August 25, 2020.

The Antioch, Illinois, resident claimed he was acting in self-defense.

The murder occurred two days earlier during civil unrest in Kenosha after a black man was shot dead by a white police officer, Jacob Blake, who was paralyzed from the waist down after seven rounds of blows to his back.

Blake’s shooting comes three months after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, another black man, igniting protests across the country and demanding reforms in police departments.

That, in turn, sparked a backlash among conservatives, including then-President Donald Trump, who condemned the protesters,

Rittenhouse faced five felony charges in the trial, which began November 1: one single count of first-degree reckless manslaughter and first-degree intentional manslaughter, two counts of first-degree negligence endangering safety, and a single count of first attempt- degree intentional murder.

A trial judge on Monday dismissed the sixth criminal count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under the age of 18 on several grounds before the case can be heard by a jury.

Kenosha business owners prepare for possible violence on Monday, as soon as the closing arguments in the trial began. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers Last week 500 members of the National Guard were placed on standby to prepare for the verdict.

Rittenhouse has become a hero to some conservatives Joe says he was justified in killing Huber and Rosenbaum and injuring 27-year-old Gage Grosskretz in the shooting, which was captured on video and distributed on social media platforms.

Grosskretz, a paramedic treating protesters in Kenosha, was carrying a pistol in his hand as he proceeded to Rittenhouse after hearing someone shot at Rittenhouse, he later testified.

“I thought the defendant was an active shooter,” Grosskretz testified.

On the other hand, liberals have denounced Rittenhouse as a reckless watchdog. Which has been embraced by racist groups like the Proud Boys.

In recent weeks, those critics of Rittenhouse have been dismayed as Schroeder, the trial judge, rebuked prosecutors at various points, and barred them from referring to the people who shot them as “victims,” ​​while defense attorneys called them “rioters,” “arsoners” and “robbers.” Gave the permission to.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a political matter,” Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, told jurors during the closing debate.

Richards said, “The district attorney’s office is moving forward with this case because they need someone to be responsible. They need someone to go and say, ‘We did this, he’s the guy who did it in Kenosha. Brought terror,” Richards said.

“Kyle Rittenhouse is not that person. The rioters, the demonstrators who turned into rioters. He is the person.”

Rittenhouse testified at trial that he traveled with a semi-automatic rifle to Kenosha, about 20 miles from his home, during protests against Blake’s shooting.

Officials said that because of his age at the time, Rittenhouse was too young to legally purchase the rifle, which a friend had bought for him with Rittenhouse’s money.

“I brought a gun for my protection,” Rittenhouse testified, “I didn’t think I’d have to use a gun and defend myself.”

Rittenhouse claimed that he was trying to protect his life when he took the lives of Rosenbaum and Huber.

“I didn’t intend to kill them. My intention was to stop the people who were attacking me,” Rittenhouse said. “I did what I had to do to stop the person attacking me.”

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Rittenhouse testified that Huber had hit her with a skateboard and grabbed her rifle.

“Mr. Huber runs, as I’m getting up, he hits me in the neck with his skateboard for the second time,” Rittenhouse said. “He grabs my gun, and I can feel it moving away from me, and I can feel the bandages coming out of my body. I fire a shot.”

During the closing statement on Monday, prosecutor Thomas Binger rejected Rittenhouse’s defense.

“You can’t claim self-defense against the danger you posed,” Binger told jurors, arguing that Rittenhouse had “brought a gun in a fistful.”

“So consider, for example, whether it is heroic or honorable to provoke and shoot unarmed people,” Binger said.

“They enjoy the thrill of walking around and telling people what to do, without the courage or respect and without the legal authority to do so.”

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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