acquitted for killing anti-racist protesters in the US

posted on 11/19/2021 6:18 PM / updated on 11/19/2021 6:22 PM

Found not guilty of all charges, Rittenhouse shot three protesters, killing two, during a night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin - (credit: Getty Images via AFP)

Found not guilty of all charges, Rittenhouse shot three protesters, killing two, during a night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin – (credit: Getty Images via AFP)

The city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was one of many the scene of uprisings against police violence in the United States on August 25, 2020. After the brutal death of George Floyde in May of that year, another black man, Jacob Blake, had victim of a violent approach by the police in the country. These episodes fueled the “Black Lives Matter” movement that promoted mostly peaceful protests across several US states.

But despite having started off smoothly, the demonstrations in Kenosha ended in tragedy. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, decided to go into town, accompanied by a friend, to confront the protesters. He left Antioch, Illinois, and drove an SUV 35 km to the neighboring county, carrying a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle.

According to Rittenhouse’s defense, they were afraid that a car dealership would be vandalized, so the weapon would serve as protection. But according to the British newspaper Independent, there was another implicit motivation. He was an outspoken supporter of ‘Blue Lives Matter’, which defends police action in the face of challenges to violent approaches.

By then, Rittenhouse had participated in police cadet training programs. But that didn’t stop him from shooting three men that August afternoon, killing activists Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injuring paramedic Gaige Grosskreutz. Unlike the self-defense thesis, accepted by the Kenosha jury, Grosskreutz claimed, at the time, that Rittenhouse was an “active marksman”.

More than victim testimonies, witnesses and video evidence, the trial turned into a political fight in the US. During the deposition, still as the accused, the shooter was moved to tears as he pleaded self-defense. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said sitting in the dock. later, the newspaper Chicago Tribune he checked the testimony and saw that many of the aspects “were not exactly as presented”.

One of the most controversial points of the trial was when prosecutor Thomas Binger was barred from calling the shot men “victims” because that was a “too loaded” term. During closing arguments, Binger’s most striking statement was about the defendant’s responsibility for the events that culminated in two deaths: “you cannot claim self-defense against a danger that you create yourself.”

Still, that was the thesis that prevailed. The day before the celebration of Black Consciousness Day in Brazil, the Rittenhouses won an opportunity that the two anti-racist protesters will not have: that of turning the page and starting over. “I see some good things coming out of Kyle in the future,” David Hancock, a family spokesman, told Fox6 TV channel. The accused was characterized by him as a young man “pragmatic who has been through a lot”, but now “may be an 18 year old” studying nursing at Arizona State University. “We are going to do everything we can so that he can live as normal a life as possible,” he concluded.

About Abhishek Pratap

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