The verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial sends a chilling message
Rittenhouse, then age 17, went to Kenosha, Wis., where protests were expected after police officers shot and seriously injured Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse had an AR-15-style rifle, which he was too young to legally possess. A teenager carrying an assault-style weapon in a tense situation is a recipe for disaster, and that is exactly what happened. Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and seriously wounded a third.
Rittenhouse testified at the trial that he went to the city on Aug. 25, 2020, to provide protection for local businesses and patrol as civil unrest developed. There is so much that is disturbing about that: a teenager deciding that he needed to provide law enforcement, when he lacked training or experience, and illegally arming himself with a semiautomatic rifle.
Not surprisingly, Rittenhouse’s presence with a big weapon provoked a reaction. Joseph Rosenbaum, a person with a history of mental illness who had been released from the hospital that day, allegedly grabbed at Rittenhouse’s gun and then was shot four times and killed. Anthony Huber apparently struck Rittenhouse with a skateboard. Huber then was shot and killed when Rittenhouse thought Huber was reaching for his weapon. Gaige Grosskreutz felt his life was in danger when he saw Huber killed. Grosskreutz reached for a weapon and then was shot and wounded by Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse did not decide to be there on his own. He was asked to help defend private property after the police watched it burn the previous night.
Not surprisingly, Rittenhouse’s presence with a big weapon provoked a reaction.
The reaction of normal people is to be polite and not commit crimes such as igniting a dumpster on fire and pushing it into a gas station. That Rosenbaum chased and grabbed (not allegedly, the coroner confirmed muzzle blast marks on his hand) at Rittenhouse’s rifle. Perhaps that his usually victims were young boys caused him to generalize that no serious resistance is to be expected. Regardless, this shows a catastrophic failure of his victim section process and does not reflect poorly on Rittenhouse.
“Huber apparently struck Rittenhouse with a skateboard”? The video and stills are very clear that it happened.
“Grosskreutz reached for a weapon and then was shot..” Lying by omission. Sure, he had to “reach for his gun” before he could use it. But the video shows, and he testified under oath, that he was not shot until he actually pointed his gun at Rittenhouse.