A verdict was reached at the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old who stood accused of murder in the August, 2020 killings of two men who were protesting the shooting of a young black man, Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges.
The jury deliberated for over 26 hours before finding Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts.
The trial was yet another flashpoint in the US, which has been rocked in the last several years over instances of police brutality and the resultant riots which went on for many months during 2020.
Rittenhouse, now 18, was charged with four felonies. The first count, reckless homicide and use of a dangerous weapon, was punishable by up to 60 years in prison.
Rittenhouse trial scene of further demonstrations while jury deliberated
The second count, that of first degree recklessly endangering safety and use of a dangerous weapon, is connected to the shooting of protester Joseph Rosenbaum. This charge was punishable by 12 1/2 years in prison.
The third count, that of first-degree recklessly endangering safety and use of a dangerous weapon, involves the part of the melee in which an unknown man leaps at Rittenhouse and tries to kick him just before Anthony Huber pushes his skateboard toward him. This charge was a felony punishable by 12 1/2 years in prison.
The fourth count, that of first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, involves the death of Huber. In the video of what happened that might, Huber leaps at Rittenhouse, swinging a skateboard at his head, attempting to grab Rittenhouse’s weapon before Rittenhouse fires at him.
Tempers had already come to a fever pitch before the verdict as demonstrators swarmed the courthouse as the jury deliberated for days, deciding the fate of Rittenhouse, who shot the three men in a melee that occurred as part of the demonstrations there against the police shooting of Blake.
At the trial it came to light that on the night of August 25, 2020, Rittenhouse had been attacked by the men, kicked in the face and hit over the head with a skateboard by them. Rittenhouse then opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle that he had brought to the scene. One of the men he hit, Gage Grosskreutz, was holding a handgun.
Rittenhouse was arrested the next day in Antioch, Illinois. His defense lawyer Mark Richards said at the time “This is classic self-defense, and we care going to prove it, we will obtain Justice for Kyle no matter how hard the fight or how long it takes.”
Earlier on Thursday, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder told the court that no one from the news outlet MSNBC would be allowed inside the courthouse for the duration of the rest of the Rittenhouse trial after a man who told police he wa a producer for MSNBC was stopped for following a bus filled with jurors on Wednesday.
After being stopped for running a red light, he told the authorities that he had been instructed to follow the jury’s bus the trial had ended for the day. CNN reports that Judge Schroeder called the incident an ”extremely serious matter” in his announcement to the court.
“This is a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth of it is, but absolutely it would go without much thinking that someone who is following the jury bus that is a very, it’s extremely serious matter and it will be referred to the proper authorities for further action,” he said.
An NBC spokesperson said that the network is cooperating with authorities.
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