Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all murder charges by a jury on 19 November, sparking off nationwide protests – he was found not guilty on all charges, including two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety.
The 18-year-old was initially charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 2 men during a racial justice protest.
Kyle Rittenhouse verdict
He broke down and collapsed onto the ground upon the passing of the judgement and was helped back onto his chair as his mother openly wept at the verdict.
The courthouse saw heavy law enforcement present with dozens of protesters outside, some in support of the teenager while some called out the injustice of the judgement.
Rittenhouse claimed self-defence in the shooting that saw the lives of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36-years-old; and Anthony Huber, 26-years-old, being taken – Gaige Grosskreutz, 28-years-old, also had a chunk of his arm torn off by a bullet that Rittenhouse fired.
A spokesperson for the Rittenhouse family said that they were happy that the teenager can live as a free and innocent man, but added that there are no winners in this situation as 2 lives have been lost.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s gun was loaded with 30 rounds of “full metal jacket” bullets, which are designed for full penetration of the target – he argued that he did what he had to do to stop the person who was “attacking” him.
He testified that he shot Anthony Huber after the latter allegedly struck him with a skateboard and pulled out a weapon; he also testified that he shot at Gaige Grosskreutz because the latter was pointing a pistol at him.
Rittenhouse also said that he fired at Joseph Rosenbaum because he had chased after him and grabbed his gun.
Joe Biden urges calm
President Joe Biden responded to the verdict and said that he supported the jury’s decision, appealing to Americans to react calmly to the verdict, acknowledging that the verdict will leave many feeling angry and concerned.
He also added that the people must acknowledge and accept that the jury has spoken.
The victim Anthony Huber’s parents said that they were heartbroken by the verdict and that it sends a message that armed civilians can show up in any town and incite violence then use the mayhem and chaos that they created to justify themselves shooting others.
In other shooting news, two shootings occurred in a single night at Petersburg.