this Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted Legal experts say the murder charges have caused panic Armed police As the hatred between American conservatives and progressives deepens, they may participate in social justice protests.
“I think this is very disturbing. Ion Meyn, assistant professor of law, said: “We are at a moment when a person with a plastic bag meets a person with an AR-15. We said that the person with the plastic bag It is a fatal threat. “At the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “How can anyone tell if we have active shooters?” What are we going to do now? “
In recent years, “the life of black people is also fate” to protest the rise of police brutality Provoked armed counter-protests in gun-friendly countries For example, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas.Rittenhouse Case Ask questions about self-defense, Gun rights and white volunteer police officers appeared in protests, just like the kind that attracted Rittenhouse Last year to Kenosha, Wisconsin, Triggered by a shot by a white policeman A 30-year-old black man, Jacob Black.
The problem before the jury was that Rittenhouse, then 17, was shooting 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber and wounding 26-year-old Geki Grosskrutz. At the time, whether it was out of self-defense is unquestionable. Rittenhouse testified that he had traveled to protests from his home in Illinois to help protect private property and shot in self-defense after being threatened.
The defense lawyer successfully argued that Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse and tried to grab his rifle, Huber hit him with a skateboard, and Grosskrutz pointed at him with a pistol In him.
“Someone pointed a gun at me; I was worried about my life,” Rittenhouse testified.
But Grosskreuz also testified that he was worried about his life and tried to disarm Rittenhouse. When asked what he was thinking at the time, Grosskreuz testified, “I’m going to die.”
The jurors discussed for about four days and then declared Rittenhouse not guilty of all five counts, the most serious being first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide.
Mayne said that Rittenhouse’s acquittal may encourage gun rights advocates and may lead to armed confrontations in protests, especially in “open carry” states like Wisconsin, which do not require gun owners to hide Their weapons. He pointed out that Rittenhouse’s defense relied on experts in the use of force by the police, and that the verdict could be interpreted as supporting lynching patrols, “expanding the privileges we grant to the police to civilians who are open to carry.”
Mayne said that a white Georgian man was tried on Wednesday in the deadly shooting of Ahmad Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, and for the sake of public safety, he designated the shooting as self-defense. One week after one person held his position, he pointed a gun at Abery, but he did not comply.
“What does this have to do with self-defense? That is aggression. We have accepted that when you point a weapon at someone, it is self-defense,” Mayne said. “They are expanding the definition of self-defense to include aggression, and having AR-15 gives you the right to tell someone to surrender. This is what you hear in shootings involving officials.”
Mayne said that the expansion of self-defense in the Rittenhouse case implicitly did not apply to people of color. “It only increases the danger,” he said.
“The advantage we give to white gun owners suspicion is that they are good law-abiding people. The narrative with individuals in the colored community is that when their pants bulge, they will be stopped and searched,” he said. “In society, as a person of color, facing the police and these white men walking around with guns, they are now boldly reckless because of Rittenhouse’s acquittal. This is a dangerous situation.”
The verdict may have been affected by Judge Bruce Schroeder’s ruling out of the previous incident 15 days before the fatal shooting, when Rittenhouse saw people running out of the CVS pharmacy and said he wanted him to have his AR-15 style rifle. “I will start shooting at them,” he reportedly said. The 75-year-old white Schroeder is the longest-serving circuit judge in the state and was criticized during the trial for being too close to Rittenhouse and his lawyers.
Keith Findley, a professor of criminal law at the University of Wisconsin, said: “This is very powerful evidence that the judge took from the prosecutor.”
Findlay said: “In the sense of making new laws or binding future decisions, the judgment does not set a legal precedent.” “But it does help establish a cultural norm. It sends a message to the community that it can Appear in protests and very turbulent public events, and take the law in your own hands, because if things go wrong, the law will protect you.”
Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge Janine Geske agreed, and said that the ruling may cause those who are already protesting police brutality to expand their platform to include “a permission for people, who they call voluntary police officers, with high power The rifle and, in their view, the assassination is human.”
“There will be a lot of anger from citizens,” Geske said.
She was surprised that the judge did not vote on the jury, and without a background questionnaire, it only took a day to select the first 20 jurors. A middle-aged male juror was dismissed during the trial for telling a deputies a joke about the Black shooting. Of the remaining 12 jurors (five men and seven women), only one appeared to be a person of color.
“They don’t have enough time for the jury consultants to study these jurors. You want to know what these jurors’ personal views are about gun control and the fate of black people,” said Gesk, a professor of law at Marquette University.
Geske said that according to the verdict, legislators should re-evaluate the gun law and allow guns to be used in protests.
“Allowing people to carry guns openly during protests is to require violence on our streets. We will soon have two groups of protesters and counter-protesters arm ourselves,” she said, and those who survived ” Can claim self-defense”.
Although Rittenhouse was acquitted, Owen Chemelinski, dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, said, “It is important to remember that Rittenhouse is ultimately responsible for the deaths of the two.”
Chemerinsky said he was worried that Rittenhouse would be seen as a hero.
“Our society is in such a tense period. I hope everyone can condemn Rittenhouse’s actions, even if he is found not guilty,” Chemelinsky said.
Paul Bucher, a Milwaukee area lawyer and former long-term prosecutor, disagrees with the legal implications of the verdict, saying he believes it is difficult to defend himself in different situations in other states.
“If people think this is a self-defense case that can provide them with protection, then they are very wrong,” Bucher predicted, saying that Rittenhouse should not be seen as a hero or a voluntary police officer.
Butcher, the Republican gun owner who failed to run for the state attorney general, said he was worried that the street verdict would have an impact.
“I’m sure someone wants revenge,” he said. “… This case quickly got out of control and the situation got worse. The judge responded to this: Republicans v. Democrats, white supremacists v. Negro fate is also fate. I will not go to Kenosha. “
Buhe, who practices in Kenosha, said that as a result of the verdict, residents were “to deathly scared. Law enforcement officers stood on tiptoes, hoping and praying that nothing would happen.”
“But it will not be limited to Kenosha. I expect there will be other protests,” Buh said. “Everyone has a different definition of justice.”
Maura Dolan, a special writer for the San Francisco Times, contributed to this report.