Kyle Rittenhouse Walks Away Acquitted

18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men and wounded another amid protests and rioting over police conduct in Kenosha, Wis., was found not guilty on all counts last Friday, ending an intense case surrounding the debate over vigilantism, gun rights, self-defense, and racial justice.

After two weeks of testimony and evidence, Rittenhouse shook as he waited for the verdicts to be read and, after he had been acquitted on all counts, he rushed from the room then later returned and was offered water by his lawyers as he sobbed.

The 12 jurors found him not guilty for the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, when he shot them with an assault rifle as he roamed the streets of Kenosha during protests in August 2020, that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Defense lawyers said Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense.

Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle, has said the past year has been “a living hell” for his family. His nephew was paralyzed from the waist down when a white police officer, Rusten Sheskey, shot him in the back seven time attempted to apprehend him next to his car.

There had been four days of deliberations. The turning point came when Grosskreutz testified for the prosecution but admitted that he pointed a gun at Rittenhouse before the 18-year-old fired his rifle, hitting him in the arm. Others stated that Rittenhouse was pursued by the men he shot dead and told the jury he was in fear for his life when he fired his gun.

The jury in Kenosha returned to the courtroom early on Friday afternoon and indicated that they had reached a unanimous verdict. After about 26 hours of deliberation, the jury seemed to accept Rittenhouse’s explanation that he had acted reasonably to defend himself.

For many, the trial illustrated the contrasting behavior of law enforcement when confronted with white men who claim to be utilizing their armed weapons for “self-defense” to Black members of the public. Although Rittenhouse, who is white, shot white men in the crowd, the case focused its attention on questions surrounding racial justice, a topic often sitting on the heart of America’s biggest divide.

One user (@traceyecorder) took to Twitter to say, “We had to beg for the life of Julius Jones yesterday, meanwhile Kyle Rittenhouse will walk free today. This is not a flaw in the system, this is the design”. She is referring to the 19-year-old student at the University of Oklahoma who was charged for the death of Paul Howell in 1999. Jones was set to be executed on Thursday, but his life was spared after Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt granted him clemency.

Logan McGraw, a sophomore History major, says “It’s the justice system at play. It’s the justice system working the way it was designed to work”

Outside of the courthouse on Friday, supporters of the jury’s decision and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement faced off and exchanged words. 

Civil rights campaigners were outraged.

“The verdict in the #KyleRittenhouse case is a travesty and fails to deliver justice on behalf of those who lost their lives as they peacefully assembled to protest against police brutality and violence,” tweeted the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) civil rights group.

Rafaela St.Juste, a senior Hospitality & Tourism Management major, says, “This really proves that not only white women’s tears work”

Rittenhouse was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a minor, but the also judge dropped that count against him during the trial.

Kyle Rittenhouse Walks Away Acquitted

18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men and wounded another amid protests and rioting over police conduct in Kenosha, Wis., was found not guilty on all counts last Friday, ending an intense case surrounding the debate over vigilantism, gun rights, self-defense, and racial justice.

After two weeks of testimony and evidence, Rittenhouse shook as he waited for the verdicts to be read and, after he had been acquitted on all counts, he rushed from the room then later returned and was offered water by his lawyers as he sobbed.

The 12 jurors found him not guilty for the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, when he shot them with an assault rifle as he roamed the streets of Kenosha during protests in August 2020, that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Defense lawyers said Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense.

Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle, has said the past year has been “a living hell” for his family. His nephew was paralyzed from the waist down when a white police officer, Rusten Sheskey, shot him in the back seven time attempted to apprehend him next to his car.

There had been four days of deliberations. The turning point came when Grosskreutz testified for the prosecution but admitted that he pointed a gun at Rittenhouse before the 18-year-old fired his rifle, hitting him in the arm. Others stated that Rittenhouse was pursued by the men he shot dead and told the jury he was in fear for his life when he fired his gun.

The jury in Kenosha returned to the courtroom early on Friday afternoon and indicated that they had reached a unanimous verdict. After about 26 hours of deliberation, the jury seemed to accept Rittenhouse’s explanation that he had acted reasonably to defend himself.

For many, the trial illustrated the contrasting behavior of law enforcement when confronted with white men who claim to be utilizing their armed weapons for “self-defense” to Black members of the public. Although Rittenhouse, who is white, shot white men in the crowd, the case focused its attention on questions surrounding racial justice, a topic often sitting on the heart of America’s biggest divide.

One user (@traceyecorder) took to Twitter to say, “We had to beg for the life of Julius Jones yesterday, meanwhile Kyle Rittenhouse will walk free today. This is not a flaw in the system, this is the design”. She is referring to the 19-year-old student at the University of Oklahoma who was charged for the death of Paul Howell in 1999. Jones was set to be executed on Thursday, but his life was spared after Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt granted him clemency.

Logan McGraw, a sophomore History major, says “It’s the justice system at play. It’s the justice system working the way it was designed to work”

Outside of the courthouse on Friday, supporters of the jury’s decision and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement faced off and exchanged words. 

Civil rights campaigners were outraged.

“The verdict in the #KyleRittenhouse case is a travesty and fails to deliver justice on behalf of those who lost their lives as they peacefully assembled to protest against police brutality and violence,” tweeted the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) civil rights group.

Rafaela St.Juste, a senior Hospitality & Tourism Management major, says, “This really proves that not only white women’s tears work”

Rittenhouse was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a minor, but the also judge dropped that count against him during the trial.

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