Lawyer makes closing statement in Kyle Rittenhouse trial

The jurors of the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial began on Tuesday to consider the case, which has become gun rights, vigilance, and law and order after months of racial justice protests across the country The touchstone of the question.

Rittenhouse is 17 years old, holding an AR-15 rifle When he shot two people and wounded another Protests and riots against police brutality swept through Kenosha on August 25, 2020. The short-bodied boy with short cut hair was suddenly embroiled in a national debate.

In the passionate politics of the Trump era, the right wing quickly drove Rittenhouse out of his home in Illinois as a hero who helped the authorities restore order. Leftists say he is a provocateur who seeks violence.

The 12 jurors will consider a narrower question: Is he defending himself every time he pulls the trigger?

“The defendant provoked this incident,” Assistant Dist. Atty. Thomas Binger told the jurors in his closing speech on Monday, asking them to recall the video they watched before Rittenhouse shot and killed the 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum.

But Rittenhouse’s defense attorney Mark Richards said Rosenbaum was the aggressor and the evidence showed that he was “jumping” and “pounce” on the defendant, with his “hand on the gun.”

“This is an eager judgment,” Richards said.

Rittenhouse, now 18, wore a blue shirt and tie, and yawned from time to time.

If convicted of intentional homicide, he may spend the rest of his life in prison. Other charges against him include first-degree reckless homicide and first-degree recklessness endangering safety.

He also faces a misdemeanor charge of illegally carrying a weapon-legal experts say this charge is most likely to lead to a conviction. Wisconsin generally prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from owning a gun.

But just before the closing debate, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the allegation and ruled that Wisconsin’s law was unclear and could be interpreted as allowing 17-year-olds to openly carry firearms other than short-barreled rifles.

On Monday, outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, groups of TV cameras lined up on a field of grass. A man is pacing back and forth holding the blue life issue flag.

“Self-defense is not a crime,” he said, but declined to be named. “Kyle Rittenhouse is innocent.”

A few feet away, another man was standing next to Rittenhouse’s cardboard cutouts. He was wearing a T-shirt with “Konvict Killer Kyle” written on it.

“Justice is what we want!” he shouted into the megaphone.

The protests here in August 2020 were in Rasten Siski, A white Kenosha police officer shot and killed a black man, Jacob Black, After being called to an apartment building due to a domestic violence dispute.

Black held a knife when he was hit by several bullets and later pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor crimes. Sheskey was cleared during the investigation and stayed in the department.

A few days after the shooting, federal law enforcement and the National Guard were dispatched to the city for a few weeks to deter protesters and protect property.

During the trial, Rittenhouse testified that he went to Kenosha Protect property And provide medical services.

The video provided by the court showed Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse through the parking lot before Rittenhouse shot.

The second person he killed, 26-year-old Anthony Huber, can be seen waving a skateboard over his head before trying to grab Rittenhouse’s rifle. Moments later, Rittenhouse fired a shot that hit the 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz in the arm. Grosskreutz is holding a pistol.

For more than two weeks, lawyers on both sides of the aisle have summoned dozens of witnesses. Rittenhouse stood up, sobbing often, saying that he was worried about his life. Once, he said he “does not want to shoot” Rosenbaum.

“I did nothing wrong,” he said. “I defend myself.”

The trial deeply divided Kenosha, a town of 100,000 people located on the shores of Lake Michigan.

While watching the trial at his home in Pleasant Prairie, 7 miles west of Kenosha, Tim Pinter said that he was “disgusted by what Rittenhouse did”.

However, he said, “I hope he can escape the most serious allegations.”

“He is stupid,” said Pinter, 48, who owns a construction company and spent two nights guarding his district with semi-automatic rifles last year, worrying that the riots might spread to his community.

Pinter said he understood Rittenhouse’s stated goal, which is to patrol with guns to protect property. What he didn’t understand was why a 17-year-old from a different state would come to his city.

“He made a wrong judgment,” Pinter said. “He put himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, probably because of the right motive. But he shouldn’t be in jail for the rest of his life. He has paid a very high price for what he did.”

Last year, a shopping mall a few blocks from Pinter’s home was filled with wooden doors and windows. He said that everything feels normal this week, and no matter what the outcome of the trial is, he does not intend to stand in front of his neighbors with a gun.

“His victim is white,” Pinter said. “If they were black, I think things would be different.”

Alvin Owens, who owns a barbershop and community center, is only a few blocks away from the place where the murder occurred. He said that he also saw racial factors and its possible consequences during the trial.

“I don’t have any confidence in this system,” said Owens, a 53-year-old black man. “The justice system has disappointed our communities time and time again.”

“He will be found not guilty. And, yes, the white man is part of it. If he is found guilty, I think the sentence is not enough,” he said.

He said he thought the judge in this case was biased.

“His phone was shut down during the Trump-themed trial,” Owens said, referring to the “God Bless America” ​​ringtone, which was used by the former president at the rally by Lee Greenwood. song.

Owens was released with tear gas during a rally after the police shot and killed Black last year. He said he understood why people came up to protect their communities last summer. For him, Rittenhouse is not one of these people.

“We all go out to protect ourselves. We just don’t have guns.”

With millions of people across the United States watching and reading about events in his hometown, Owens said he hopes people can take something with them outside of the trial.

“I want people to stop politicizing our city,” he said. “We are not red. We are not blue. We are the United States. Our demographics, our political collapse, match the situation of the entire country. We are a great place, and we are passing some dark times. We want to pass this chapter.”

Lee reported from Kenosha and Kaleem from Los Angeles.

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