Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty On All Charges
Rittenhouse was charged with five felonies in connection to a shooting at a Jacob Blake protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.
November 17, 2021 at 2:55 pm
A jury of 12 people, five men and seven women, returned a not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial on Friday. According to CNN, Rittenhouse was charged with five felonies: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. The first charge carries a mandatory minimum life sentence.
Days before the verdict was expected to be announced, Gov. Tony Evers requested the presence of National Guard troops in the city, as Blavity previously reported.
During the closing arguments on Monday, prosecutors alleged that Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, instigated the events that left two people dead and one person wounded.
"That is what provokes this entire incident," prosecutor Thomas Binger said. "When the defendant provokes this incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create."
The defense argued that Rittenhouse’s actions during the period of civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, were in self-defense, saying that he feared for his life amid the ongoing looting and lawlessness provoked by the death of Jacob Blake at the hands of the police.
Rittenhouse testified that he shot Rosenbaum, along with two other people, because he was in fear of being overtaken by a “mob” of angry protesters. He broke down in tears, which fell on many notably deaf ears, while on the stand.
"I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself," he testified.
Rittenhouse was also hit with a misdemeanor weapons possession charge as well as a noncriminal violation of curfews charge, but both were dismissed by Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is accused of being biased. AP News reports the judge has been scrutinized for some time during the trial due to his widely deemed inappropriate moves.
Along with his decision to dismiss the charges, he was also called out for his comments on “Asian food” and improper cellphone etiquette during the proceedings. In response to the comments made about him, Judge Schroeder joked in the courtroom that he wished fewer people had his email address.