Kyle Rittenhouse is being Tried for Murder


Rittenhouse walking into trial

By Camilo Sanchez and Ben Friedman

On August 25, 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse shot three people, killing two of them at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This protest was in response to the police shooting of Jacob Black which happened two days prior on August 23rd. The 18 year old is now being tried in court for 2 counts of murder.

Research done by the New York Times shows that Rittenhouse joined a group of counter protesters who found each other via a Facebook group. They were a group of armed men who said they were protecting the area from looters. Rittenhouse traveled from his home state of Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin with a Smith & Wesson M&P 15, which is an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. At the protest Rittenhouse stayed with the group of men who were protecting the stores, but when the protesters neared them, conflict started to occur. One of the men that Rittenhouse shot and killed chased after him into a parking lot while the other came at him in the middle of the street with a skateboard. That night he went home and slept in his own bed, not being arrested until the next morning. Rittenhouse is convicted of first-degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon and first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, along with five other charges.

Rittenhouse took the stand last week and pleaded not guilty to the charges testifying that he acted in self defense. If found guilty, and convicted of the most serious charges that are being set against him, he could face a mandatory life sentence.

Mr. Hittinger, Wayne Hills High School history teacher said, “Unfortunately, the trial has been politicized (which is not surprising in our current political climate), and is further dividing Americans.  Regardless of the outcome, there is going to be outrage from the public, as social media is teeming with claims of racial bias, violent political activism, and infringement of second amendment rights regarding the parties involved.”

 One witness, Drew Hernandez, said he thought one of the victims acted, “physically aggressive,” prior to the incident. Prosecutor Thomas Binger said in his closing argument that Rittenhouse acted in a reckless way resulting in the deaths of the victims and left a few more injured. On the other hand, defense attorney Mark Richards said that Rittenhouse only fired his rifle because he felt threatened by the crowd.

With both closing arguments complete, all that awaits is the decision by the jury which holds Kyle Rittenhouse’s future.

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