After twenty-six hours of deliberation spread over four days, the jury which had withdrawn Tuesday to debate the fate of Kyle Rittenhouse, accused of the murder of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and of having injured a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, on the sidelines of anti-racist demonstrations in 2020, was acquitted on Friday, November 19. The twelve jurors declared it ” not guilty “ of the five charges against him, including murders.
The 18-year-old, who faced life imprisonment, had pleaded self-defense in this revealing case of America’s fractures over guns, self-defense and the anti-racist movement Black Lives Matter (“black lives count ”).
“When deciding on the verdict, keep in mind that the accused caused the incident, because under Wisconsin law you cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create. “, had assen in his pleading the prosecutor Thomas Binger, who was therefore not heard by the jury.
The trial was broadcast widely across the country, which awaited the verdict with some trepidation. As a precaution, the governor of Wisconsin has asked five hundred soldiers of the National Guard to stand ready to intervene in Kenosha.
On August 23, 2020, this city in the Great Lakes region was set on fire after a police blunder against an African-American. Then aged 17, Kyle Rittenhouse had equipped himself with a semi-automatic rifle and had joined armed groups that had come ” protect “ businesses. Under confusing circumstances, he opened fire, killing two men and wounding a third. All of his victims are white.
Kyle Rittenhouse has become a muse in certain right-wing circles for whom the great mobilization against police violence in the summer of 2020 was the work of“Antifas” or“Anarchists”. Conversely, on the left, he embodies the excesses of the culture of weapons and the right to self-defense.