We are less than three weeks out from the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old when he was caught up in the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots and wound up shooting three “protesters” with an AR15 rifle, killing two. We’ll discuss that case shortly here, but I’d like to share something else first.
The riot was triggered when a Kenosha police officer shot one Jacob Blake after they responded to a domestic disturbance. People with agendas screamed, “A white cop shot an unarmed black man seven times in the back,” and that’s what triggered the riot.
If you were reading this blog back when it happened, you saw the picture I posted of Jacob Blake seconds before the shooting, with a knife in his hand!
Only recently has the officer who fired finally been officially exonerated. Read about it here.
The riot that burned a city and led to more deaths was a direct result of people with political (and $$$) agendas spreading lies.
The cop is cleared, deservedly in my opinion. Young Rittenhouse is still under the Sword of Damocles.
As I said, we’ll discuss the upcoming trial more soon in these pages.
Attorney Andrew Branca is already covering the goings-on of the Rittenhouse trial — including pre-trial motions and hearings — over at Legal Insurrection. It’s been fascinating to see into the State’s narrative vs. the defense narrative we’ve already discussed here and elsewhere.
We’ve always known that charging Kyle Rittenhouse with five (!) serious felonies (and one misdemeanor) was motivated more by politics than justice. Hearing about some of the State’s motions — and speculating on the likely motivations behind them — only confirms it.
Thanks for the link, Archer. Andrew Branca’s day-by-day reporting was in my opinion the gold standard commentary during the Zimmerman trial eight years ago, and I expect will prove so during the Rittenhouse trial. I encourage all to keep an eye on his website at http://www.lawofselfdefense.com.
He is rather wordy, and at times teduous to follow. BUT he is VERY precise and thorough. I”ve been following his posts, and he is good.
Hus analisis of rhe law under which Kyle is charged wiht unlawful possession of a firearm (supposedly underage) has been crytal clear. Excellent reading, and sound advice for all uf us who tend to go about our daily business armed.
Thank You for updating us on this Mas….best wishes from Orlando, Paul Brown
I always say, you can ‘win’ the gunfight and still lose everything.
I’m not sure of the laws and regs in Wisconsin, and at seventeen, I don’t think Kyle was legally allowed to be packing that rifle. Truthfully, I would not have been letting myself in for such problems just being in that place and time. That said, I’ve seen the video’s and personally, feel he was fully justified to defend himself. Again, having seen the video’s, I don’t even understand why he is even on trial for shooting his attackers. On trial perhaps, for packing the firearm, and packing while underage, but not for defending himself. the few backgrounders I’ve seen about him and his life, he seems like a decent kid, not a thug. I’ll be rooting for him for sure.
the mnain sectioin of the statue he is accused of villating is clear.. under 18 can’t have guns. HOWEVER< following sections provide a number of carveouts and exceptions. ranca did a bangup job of untangling that web his post from today. There are two carveouts for whichhe qualifies, per the written letter of the entrire law.
Others have [rattled on about "interstate transfer" of the AR, but it was purchased in Wisconsin and never left Wisconsin, and ownership s never transferred to Kyle. Yet wnohter goofball was rattling on about the real owner of the rifle having perforemd a "straw purchase' for Kyle, supposedlyt "prohibted" b virtue of his age. BUT the rifle was bought by the one who paid for it, got the NICS clearance, and had it at his home. He was merely ,lending it to Kyle, not a crime in WI.
but NO ONE has gone after two who were VERY aggressive against Kyle and who were prohibited persons at the Fed level, thus could not be in possession of firearms. But were. If memory serves aright, one of the ones Kyle shot was found to be a convicted felon, and unable under law to possess a firearm.
Unfortunately, it is not about justice. Rather it is about politics, and those with political agendas who spout the type of propaganda dispensed immediately in the aftermath of the Blake shooting, without full knowledge of details, (which includes our current President) must be held accountable. We may not be able to throw them in jail, but we can throw them out of office and off the bully pulpit!
If it wasn’t for the total breakdown of the ability of the city to protect its citizens and enforce the law (due to mob rule) I would see this as injecting one’s self into a volatile situation you could have avoided. However this was not your average turn of events. I, for one, am proud of the way Rittenhouse conducted himself. I think he genuinely acted with the best of intentions and tried to help his fellow man. Unfortunately, things didn’t go well and unhinged individuals with past felonies pushed him into a bad scene.
You are very near to one issue I’ve never seen addresed in any of the coverage of this incident.
When Kyle started out that evening, he ws on PRIVATE PROPERTY, and being there, he could NOT have violated the WI statutes anyway, as private propety with owner’s permissioin is a Get OUt of Jail Free card. SO he started out peaceably carrying that long gun when things were quiet, relatively. When the monster goons tried to burn down the building housing the business. Kyle was also assaulted and faced two options: stand and fight, likely with the rifle, eventually probably losing possession of it to the superior numbers and srangth. at which point a bloodbath would ensue, or fleeing down the street in a desparate attempt to preserve his life and retain possession of the rifle. Kyle does not appear to have wilfully gone out into public with the rifle.,
Kyle Rittenhouse’s true crime, in the eyes of the American Left, was to resist their BLM and Antifa Brown-shirts. The “Bought-and-Paid-for” thugs that the left unleashes upon citizens in Blue States. The totalitarians of the Left will not stand for any resistance to their RULE! Any resistance is seen as defiance and, like all totalitarians, they are intolerant of any defiance. Anyone who resists must be punished and destroyed.
That is the purpose of the Kyle Rittenhouse prosecution and trial. It is not to uphold the law. It is to use the law as a weapon (lawfare) tp punish those who resist the RULE of the American Left. It is a political show trial, like the Chauvin and Zimmerman trials before it, designed to criminalize resistance to the rule of the American Left.
The Left used two of their favorite tactics to win the Chauvin Show Trial. They used street violence and intimidation to push the jury to rule in their favor. They also used their control of the media and channels of propaganda to conduct character assassination of Chauvin. The left loves to use these tactics and they are good at it.
We can expect to see the same tactics employed in the Rittenhouse trial. They will “let slip the dogs of war” by unleashing their media attack dogs. They Prosecutor will also attack with the media reinforcing his efforts at character assassination. The idea will be to paint Kyle Rittenhouse as a monster just like they painted Officer Chauvin as a monster. The general legal tactic will be to undercut Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense by attacking his “Mantle of Innocence”. In effect, by trying to get the jury to believe that Rittenhouse is such a monster that he is not entitled to the Right of Self-Defense and that the jury should deny it to him.
It would not surprise me if the Left also threaten street violence, riots and burning (by their Brown Shirts) if Rittenhouse is not convicted. Getting at the jury by means of fear and intimidation. Fear and intimidation are prime tools in the Left’s toolbox. Just look a how skillfully they have weaponized Covid-19 to gain political power.
Do not make the mistake that this is a clear-cut case of self-defense and that the jury must see it that way. The facts of the case may say that but the left cares little for facts. They rule by playing on the emotions of the masses. Propaganda, indoctrination, fear and intimidation are their weapons. Given the skill with which the left uses its weapons, it will be an uphill climb for the facts to prevail.
As a parent, can’t imagine allowing a 17 year old for whom I’m responsible to travel to another state with a firearm other than escorted by another responsible adult for a legitimate hunting or sporting event. Avoiding problems is much easier than trying to extract someone from them later. I’m a bit surprised the mother has not been charged. That said, did contribute to his defense fund.
He was handed the gun when in Wisconsin, is my understanding.
it belongs to a long time friend, and was loaned to him by that friend to carry with him as he stood against the mobs trying to destroy the property, the livelihood of yet another friend. He had been keeping the borrowd rifle NOT HIS at the same huosw ehre he stayd when in Kenosha. Which was a good part of his time. Rmembe,r the place where the alledged murders took place was only 15 miles from where his permnant residence was.
That’s what I had read initially, and I think that is still technically correct. But at some point a while back, I don’t think this was during a hearing but I could be wrong, Rittenhouse said he gave money to a friend to buy a rifle for him. That rifle was not stored with Rittenhouse, as far as I know, but in Wisconsin and given to him when Rittenhouse went to that state for the protest. Earlier this year that friend was charged with selling a dangerous weapon to a person under age 18. This seller was supposed to have a trial this fall, but it was moved back until after the Rittenhouse trial is over.
The ADA is seemingly going back to Kyle’s birth to show that he’s a racist (like that anything to do with anything). 😏
RE: “going back to Kyle’s birth”:
Kyle was born white, therefore he’s a racist. Q.E.D. (To the Left, anyway.)
The funny thing is, none of it should matter. Even supposing Kyle Rittenhouse was a “monster” — supposing he dealt heroin to children, habitually punched nuns and orphans, and kicked puppies — he still has Constitutional rights, and the criminal case against him depends entirely on the factual events surrounding the night of August 25, 2020.
(To be clear, he reportedly didn’t do any of those things and appears to be a darn-near unimpeachably-upstanding youth.)
The fact they’re even going to the trouble of character assassination — ad hominem attacks, basically — tells me a lot about the deficiencies in their criminal case. IOW, they really must not have much in the way of facts or evidence against Kyle if glorified name-calling is what they have to resort to.
Regarding Mr. Rittenhouse’s decision to ‘join the party’, I myself would not have gone near that riot. As we see in this case, his zeal to protect private property is overshadowed by a politically motivated mob both at the time and afterwards. Even though his decision to fire in self defense was most likely righteous, he now has to prove that to a jury and then face a hostile and potentially vengeful yet ignorant public for months or years into the future.
That’s what insurance is for.
Well said. I believe Mr. Rittenhouse’s intentions were good. He was trying to help. Sadly, this might become an example of one of Murphy’s sayings, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
If we were living in the 1800s, Kyle would be a hero. Maybe even if we were living before 1950. Now everything gets viewed through a Leftist lens.
Considering the current political climate, Rittenhouse will most likely be convicted of several if not all of the bogus charges against him. The members of the jury will not want to be seen as “Racist” if they don’t find Rittenhouse guilty. I’m just surprised he wasn’t charged with genocide too. Even if the defense team of Rittenhouse could put Jesus on the stand as a character witness for Rittenhouse, he will still get slammed in court. However, if Mohammed were to testify on Rittenhouse’s behalf, that may make a difference as the jury wouldn’t want to be labeled as anti-Islamic.
If Kyle Rittenhouse identifies as a black man, that may help him beat the racist charge. Maybe, just maybe.
Excellent idea, Roger. Even better if Rittenhouse identifies as a transgender Islamic black man of American Indian ancestry. You should be a lawyer. Johnny Cochran would be so proud of you.
I’d just like to say that Mr. Rittenhouse had every legal right to be where he was doing what he was doing. Many say either that they wouldn’t have been there or that he shouldn’t have been there. What you would have done doesn’t matter and what you think he should have done doesn’t matter and that he was there doesn’t make him guilty of anything. From all appearances he was there doing the right thing, to help prevent his employer’s business from being destroyed by goons intent on committing all the mayhem and destruction they could get away with. If it was your business and livelihood at risk would you walk away? And do think of this, insurance almost always will not pay damages for loss as a result of riots, so if your business is destroyed by rioters, you will lose everything without any compensation. Would you walk away?
It’s definitely worth checking your insurance policies to see what they do and don’t cover.
(The cynical side of me says the Left knows that most insurance policies don’t cover riot damage, and that’s why they push so hard for increasingly violent riots; it’s another way to shut down independent small businesses and destroy livelihoods.)
Would I walk away? I honestly don’t know. On one hand, my life is infinitely more valuable to my family than any business or inventory. On the other hand, having to eat the cost and start over at my own expense — paying for it a second time, essentially — might be more than the family or business can bear; even if your insurance covers riot damage and loss, you’re still out the deductible, any rise in future premiums, and the long wait for reimbursement and rebuilding, during which you can’t do business.
Because I don’t know what I would have done, I cannot in good conscience judge the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse for trying to stand guard, or his employer for trying to protect his business and livelihood. I can see the merits in either decision; neither is necessarily right or wrong.
You might want to look up Wisconsin law about using deadly force for the defense of property. That is not the issue of this trial, but it is clear that Rittenhouse had no clue what the laws of that state were and he was putting himself at risk simply by going, forget the mob being there. You cannot use deadly force for the defense of property of a business in Wisconsin unless you are the owner of a business and even then the owner has to be facing immediate threat of death or great bodily harm. The law there has got nothing to do with the things at a business and everything to with the people who happen to be there. You can’t just shoot someone for wrecking parked cars.
What on earth was Rittenhouse doing there, then? Serving a noble cause? I can’t stand BLM, they are trashing this country. Rittenhouse wasn’t part of some army. He was with a few people against a mob. Rittenhouse didn’t own that car lot, his family didn’t own it. Even the owner has said – I hired no one to be at my lot because it was ruined in a previous riot.
Let’s say you are the person who finds out that the owner of some car dealership who doesn’t even know you or live in your state wants help. You are going there, armed to save some stranger’s stuff, risking going to jail the rest of your life, or losing your life? You really want to be Kyle Rittenhouse right now? You want to be the face of hatred in the media, you want prison time hanging over your head? You want this?
I think Rittenhouse has a valid case of self-defense. The prosecution seems to be incompetent in some ways, and politically motivated in all ways. It’s ridiculous. That isn’t uncommon to find in American courtrooms anymore, which also must be taken into account if you carry a firearm.
But his life wasn’t in danger until he himself put it in danger by going there. I hope the guy is found not guilty and lives a good life, and I also hope at some point he understands how stupid he was.
I look at the Kenosha rioters as a dangerous mob who were disturbing the peace and indiscriminately threatening the lives and general well-being of innocent citizens in various ways. To balance an equation, I feel that Kyle Rittenhouse should be given a medal and a cash award both for being at least a fairly good shot and also emerging from the riot in reasonably good shape. I feel sorry for irresponsible government officials who put their offices beyond the truth. Kyle at least has shown a sense of responsibility.
Strategic Steve – the reality is that he won’t get cash and a medal. The reality is that he gets a trial to see if he goes to prison for the rest of his life and will carry the weight of hatred by millions who don’t think like you or I and others here. Would you put your life on the line to go out of your way to defend the stuff of someone you didn’t know? I carry every single day. A stranger’s car lot ain’t worth my life.
By the way, Rittenhouse was there on Night 3 of the Kenosha riots. His “responsibility” didn’t stop Riot Night 4, or the following protests there for three more days.
Notice how Antifa and BLM can burn, riot and loot for more than a hundred days, and the police are ordered to stand down. But let one patriot go and try to protect a business, with a gun, and the legal system turns HIM into a crook. Kyle is not a crook, he is a hero. But, he is an anti-Leftist hero, which means, to the Left, he is a crook.
Awesome blog and commentary. The crooked politically motivated prosecution is the greatest threat. There seems to be an endless supply of money funding these attacks from the shadow govt.
I sincerely hope that Kyle has good attorneys & expert witnesses on his side. The jury members may be torn between remembering the damage that was done to their city, which he was attempting to prevent, and the damage that may be done if he is acquitted. Hopefully the politicians and police chief of Kenosha have the intestinal fortitude to act with purpose and prevent/stop any more looting and violence from the Left.
Mas wrote about “. . . people with political (and $$$) agendas spreading lies.” There are a lot of lies being believed in our country today. I thought access to the Internet, and having everyone watch everyone else with our smart phones was supposed to prevent the media from spreading lies. Everyone with access to the Internet and a smart phone could be a watchdog on the media. I guess lies are more powerful than we thought. They aren’t going away, they are multiplying. It is a deceptive time.
@ Roger Willco – “Everyone with access to the Internet and a smart phone could be a watchdog on the media.”
Fat chance! You can already see the media begin to set the “narrative” in-place as we approach the trial date. Take this story from Reuters, for example:
Can you believe the total arrogance of the Left?
Kyle Rittenhouse was morally right, but legally wrong. Our legal system frowns on civilians taking the law into their own hands. The correction of criminals is supposed to be left to the government and its agents. Nevertheless, the world is probably a little bit better place today because the two people Kyle shot were bad people. When bad people die, the earth is made better.
Imagine twenty scoundrels riot, loot and burn the businesses in a city. A group of vigilantes go out there, shoot and kill all twenty of them. They just made the earth a better place, because they killed bad people. But, the government won’t see it that way. It will say the scoundrels did nothing worth of death, and the vigilantes had no right to take the law into their own hands (judge, jury, executioner) and kill the rioters.
During a time of Rule of Law, the administration of justice should be left to the state (except for clear-cut incidents of self-defense). During a time of Without the Rule of Law, people can do what is right, not what is legal. Kyle Rittenhouse did the right thing at the wrong time. He was morally right, but legally wrong. Kind of like hiding a slave during a time when the Fugitive Slave Law was in force, back in the 1850s.
The government should occupy itself with correcting big problems, like the rise in crime. It should not be spending time going after do-gooders like Kyle Rittenhouse. He should be fined $200 and be told not to do that again. Don’t take the law into your own hands. Let the police handle the riots. If the police don’t handle them, just stay out of the way, unless you own one of the threatened businesses, then you have a right to defend it morally, but not legally. So, I guess during Rule of Law, a business owner should stay home, and contemplate moving to a safer area. As commentators above stated, you cannot shoot someone when they are destroying property. You are only justified in shooting someone to save an innocent life.
Roger, I have to respectfully disagree with you on your posit that “Kyle RIttenhouse was morally right, but legally wrong. All three of the shootings for which he is charged are captured on video and clearly show self-defense: As you put it yourself at the end of the comment, “You are only justified in shooting someone to save an innocent life.” I believe the defense can show that the innocent life he saved was his own. Your hypothetical is flawed, in that it involves vigilantes shooting to punish, not volunteer “helpers” shooting in self-defense against criminal deadly threats.
I will be interested in your comments on my next blog post on this matter.
Won’t know if he was “legally right” until the trial is over.
Thanks, Mas and TN_MAN,
I do not pretend to be a legal expert. Hopefully, Kyle will get excellent representation.
@ Roger Willco – “Kyle Rittenhouse was morally right, but legally wrong.”
I have to disagree with this. The actual shootings were in self-defense. That made the shootings legally justified. One can argue about the wisdom of a seventeen year-old putting himself into the middle of a riot zone but, really, which of us did not do something stupid when we were seventeen? He had as much right to be there as the so-called “Peaceful Protestors”!
I grew up in a small town in East Tennessee. During my youth, our local Sherriff was a somewhat shady character but he understood his people. I remember a story told about him in which he demonstrated the “Wisdom of Solomon”. This is the story as I recall it:
Two men got into a dispute in a local bar one night. A call went out to the Sherriff’s office. As it happened, the Sherriff, himself, was out cruising in his car near the place. So, he was the first to respond.
He entered the bar to find that one man had a revolver drawn, cocked and pointed at a second man. The gunman was spitting mad and calling the other man every dirty name he could think of. The Sherriff started at once to talk to the gunman and tell him to hand over his revolver. The gunman replied that he was “gonna shoot this dirty SOB!.
The Sherriff said “Now, you don’t want to do that. You might only wound him.” This puzzled the gunman so the Sherriff explained further. The Sherriff said “if you shoot him and kill him, I can get you off. However, if you only wound him, you will have trouble for the rest of your life.”
The gunman thought about it and said “I guess you are right.” He then handed over his revolver and the Sherriff arrested them both with no further trouble and with no one getting hurt.
You see my point? Kyle Rittenhouse only made one tactical mistake the night of the riot and shooting. He failed to target Grosskreutz with a “Center of Mass” hit as he did his other two attackers. As a result, he only wounded Grosskreutz.
Perhaps this illustrates the wisdom of my old County Sherriff?
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