The closing arguments have began in the trial for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old man, who shot and killed two protestors and injured another during the protests/riots following the death of Jacob Blake in August of 2020.
Blake was shot in the back multiple times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin after police responded to an apartment complex for a domestic related call.
Blake lived, but was left paralyzed. In the days following the shooting – in the wake of George Floyd’s death – protestors took to the street to protest.
Three days after the shooting, protestors and ‘anti-protestors’ took to the street, including a then-17-year-old Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse, who lived 15 miles away from Kenosha, arrived to the protests with an AR-15. A video captured by a protestor shows the defendant in what appears to him being attacked by protestors. He then fired multiple shots, striking three people, killing two.
“There’s people getting in people’s faces. There’s yelling. There’s shouting. There’s even shoving. And yet, in this entire sequence of events — from the shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, all the way after that, everything this community went through — the only person who shot and killed anyone was the defendant,” Thomas Binger said, the lead prosecutor in the case.
Rittenhouse is on trial with a charge of homicide.
In the video, you can see the defendant flee while holding the AR-15 in his hands.
Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, then minutes later shot and killed Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, then 26. Rosenbaum was unarmed. Huber was striking Rittenhouse with a skateboard. Grosskreutz was armed with a pistol.
Judge Bruce Schroeder allowed prosecutors to argue that the initial encounter was provoked by Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse is also on trial for five felony counts of: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree attempted intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety of another. He’s pleaded not guilty on all counts.
Monday morning, Judge Schroeder dismissed a sixth charge, a misdemeanor related to possession of a dangerous weapon as a minor.
That charge was presented by prosecutors given the defendant was a minor at the time of the crime. His defense lawyers argued, with success, that Wisconsin’s law allows for minors to possess guns with barrels 16 inches or longer.