Kyle Rittenhouse verdict – live: Gun group to ‘award’ AR-15 to teen as defence attorney calls Trump Jr ‘idiot’

Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty on all charges in homicide trial

Kyle Rittenhouse’s attorney has hit out at Republican politicians trying to capitalise on his client’s “celebrity”, calling their behaviour “disgusting”.

He also called Donald Trump Jr an “idiot” for supporting an offer by Guns of America to give Mr Rittenhouse a free AR-15 rifle, similar to the one used by Mr Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin on 25 August, 2020.

Mark Richards, who represented Mr Rittenhouse at trial, told Insider: “He’s an idiot. I don’t have to expand on that because it speaks for itself.”

Mr Richards also criticised Republican congressmen who have offered Mr Rittenhouse internships following his acquittal, saying: “They want to trade on his celebrity and I think it’s disgusting.”

Protests across the US followed his acquittal, after a jury found him not guilty on all five counts in his homicide trial after four days of jury deliberations.

Fox News personality Tucker Carlson will interview Mr Rittenhouse on Monday, and the network is set to air a documentary-style film about the trial in December. Mr Richards told CNN on Friday that he did not approve of a film crew embedding with the legal team.

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Cori Bush calls for expulsion of House Republicans offering Rittenhouse an internship

After at least three members of Congress suggested they want Kyle Rittenhouse to work for them, Democratic US Rep Cori Bush of Missouri – who has repeatedly denounced endorsements of violence from Republican lawmakers – suggested that GOP congressmen who are “actively recruiting” Mr Rittenhouse should be expelled.

“Just being real: every day it feels more and more dangerous coming to work,” she said on Twitter on Saturday.

“Not only do these members fuel violence,” she said. “Now they’re actively recruiting someone whose sole qualification is killing people standing up for Black lives and getting away with it. They must be expelled.”

Alex Woodward21 November 2021 18:59


NAACP president Derrick Johnson: Verdict is ‘a warning shot that vigilante justice is allowed in this country’

NAACP president Derrick Johnson told CBS Face the Nation on Sunday that it is “hard for many African Americans to reconcile” the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case while many Black American remain in jail for charges they didn’t commit or were “overcharged” in other cases.

Mr Rittenhouse “put himself in harm’s way based on the rhetoric he had seen on social media platforms,” Mr Johnson said.

“This trial for us is a warning shot that vigilante justice is allowed in this country, or in particular communities,” he added.

Mr Johnson falsely added that Mr Rittenhouse armed himself while driving into Kenosha from nearby Antioch, Illinois; a friend purchased the AR-15-style rifle for him and kept it at his step-father’s home in Kenosha.

Alex Woodward21 November 2021 18:04


Gun Owners of America ‘awarding’ Rittenhouse with AR-15 gun similar to weapon used in fatal shootings

Gun Owners of America – which claims to represent 2 million gun owners in the US – “will be awarding Kyle Rittenhouse with an AR-15 for his defense of gun rights in America,” according to a post on the group’s Twitter account.

“Join us in saying THANK YOU to Kyle Rittenhouse for being a warrior for gun owners and self defense rights across the country!” the post states.

The weapon used by Mr Rittenhouse, who lived in nearby Antioch, Illinois, was stored at his friend’s home in Kenosha. Mr Rittenhouse testified that his friend, Dominick Black, bought the gun in Wisconsin in May 2020 and agreed that it would be stored at Mr Black’s home until he turned 18.

Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed a misdemeanor charge against Mr Rittenhouse for possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. Legal experts contended the charge was likely the best chance for prosecutors to convict Mr Rittenhouse, as there was no dispute that he possessed the gun that night.

Judge Schroeder argued that the charge, which is punishable by up to nine months in prison, was drawn from the state’s poorly and confusingly written open-carry law and rules allowing minors to carry firearms while hunting.

Alex Woodward21 November 2021 17:30


Civil rights attorney: ‘The law is not a problem so much as the system is a problem’

Civil rights attorney David Henderson told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that the activism surrounding civil rights issues, increasingly met by an armed civilian response, has opened the door for scenarios that are “volatile enough that people begin firing”.

“What stands out to me initially is not the existence of these laws but that people fundamentally do not understand them,” he said.

He said that the Rittenhouse trial was a “winnable” one for prosecutors, adding that “with a different jury you would have a very different outcome.”

“The law is not a problem so much as the system is a problem,” he said. “This was a very difficult case to win … Based on these facts, this was a difficult case to win. But let’s think through what happened here with the law of self defense.”

Prosecutors argued that Mr Rittenhouse made the decision to fatally shoot Joseph Rosenbaum, who was chasing after him, rather than fire a single round, or a warning shot. Mr Rittenhouse shot him four times.

Mr Henderson made a similar argument, suggesting that defense attorneys would have had to make a similar lethal self-defense claim had Mr Rittenhouse used his hands, rather than an AR-15-style rifle.

He said the jury should have considered, in assessing whether Mr Rittenhouse made a “reasonable” decision to use lethal self-defense, whether he should have backed down.

Alex Woodward21 November 2021 17:00


Rittenhouse attorney criticises prominent GOP lawmakers looking to ‘profit’ from trial: ‘It’s disgusting’

A defense attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse has criticised Republican lawmakers looking to “profit” from his client’s “celebrity” after he was acquitted in a closely-watched, double homicide trial.

Prominent right-wing figures and news personalities have come to his defense, while civil rights groups and Democratic officials have argued that the case underscores failures in the criminal justice system.

At least three Republican members of Congress have suggested they want Mr Rittenhouse as an intern. Donald Trump Jr tweeted, then deleted, an offer from a gun rights organisation to send Mr Rittenhouse an AR-15-style rifle, along with a card in “support of Kyle”.

Alex Woodward21 November 2021 16:41


GOP senator: ‘Justice was done, but the rhetoric surrounding it on both sides is inappropriate to the actual events’

US Senator Kevin Cramer told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that the “symbolism that surrounded” Mr Rittenhouse’s case have not “reflected the facts on the ground,” as a polarising verdict on Friday him not guilty of homicide.

Jurors deliberated a relatively narrow trial focusing on the shootings themselves against Wisconsin self-defense law, and weighed prosecutors’ argument over whether Mr Rittenhouse was justified in using deadly force against the people chasing after him on 25 August 2020 in the volatile aftermath of police brutality protests in Kenosha.

“Justice has been done by a jury of his peers,” Senator Cramer said.

He added: “I think frankly, when you look at the video tape, the videos of things that became more apparent later in the trial, you find a kid that was in the wrong place at the wrong time, should not have had a gun probably with him. But he did provoke what was happening to him, he responded in self-defense.”

He said that the problem is that “justice was done, but the rhetoric surrounding it on both sides is inappropriate to the actual events.”

Alex Woodward21 November 2021 15:34


ICYMI: Kyle Rittenhouse attorney ‘did not approve of’ Tucker Carlson film crew embedded with team during trial

Hours after a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on charges of homicide, Fox News personality Tucker Carlson announced that he will not only interview the teenager but air a documentary about him.

On 19 November, the host of Tucker Carlson Tonight revealed that a film crew had followed the 18-year-old during the trial, although defence attorney Mark Richards told CNN that he did “not approve of that”.

“I threw them out of the room several times,” Mr Richards said on Friday following the verdict. “I don’t think a film crew is appropriate for something like this.”

Alex Woodward21 November 2021 15:21


ICYMI: Democratic House Judiciary chairman blasts Rittenhouse verdict as ‘miscarriage of justice’

The Democratic House Judiciary chairman Jerold Nadler has described the not guilty verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial as a “miscarriage of justice”.

He also called for a “federal review” to take place.

“Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest.”

Kyle Rittenhouse cannot be tried again for the same alleged crimes and the Department of Justice does not have any authority to prosecute state crimes.

The DOJ could however probe law enforcement for bias or misconduct.

Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters after the trial that the verdict “really speaks for itself”.

She added: “As many of you know, I’ve spent a majority of my career working to make the criminal justice system more equitable. And clearly, there’s a lot more work to do.”

Holly Bancroft21 November 2021 13:02


Calls for Joe Biden to apologise to Kyle Rittenhouse following not guilty verdict

A US Senator has called on President Joe Biden to apologise to Kyle Rittenhouse after a jury found that he had acted in self defense when he shot three men last year.

Senator Tom Cotton tweeted: “Joe Biden needs to publicly apologize to Kyle Rittenhouse.” He was demanding an apology from Biden over the President’s use of Rittenhouse’s image in a video he tweeted during his presidential campaign.

The video attempted to link former President Trump to White supremacists. It showed a clip from a Presidential debate where President Trump was asked if he would condemn white supremacists and militia groups.

The questioner referenced the violence in Kenosha and Portland last year and Rittenhouse’s image accompanied that voice over.

There is no suggestion that Kyle Rittenhouse is linked to white supremacists or militia.

Holly Bancroft21 November 2021 12:15


What we know about the three men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse

Joseph Rosenbaum crossed paths with Kyle Rittenhouse in a used-car lot. He had just been discharged from hospital in Milwaukee where he had been treated for a suicide attempt.

It is not clear why he was out on Kenosha’s streets the night of the protests but his fiance lived in the city.

Rosenbaum was unarmed and carries a plastic bag containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, deodorant and some papers.

According to Rittenhouse’s lawyers, Rosenbaum came up to Kyle Rittenhouse and tried to “engage him”. Rittenhouse ran away and Rosenbaum chased after him.

A video shows that Rosenbaum threw his plastic bag at Rittenhouse, who responded by firing four shots at him.

Rittenhouse argued during the trial that Rosenbaum had reached for his gun.

After he shot at Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse panicked and started running away towards a line of police.

Several protesters saw him and thought he was an “active shooter”. A couple started chasing him, including Anthony Huber.

Anthony Huber, who was a keen skater, caught up with Rittenhouse and tried to stop him by hitting him with a skateboard. During the tussle, Rittenhouse shot Huber dead.

Gaige Grosskreutz was also among the number of people who chased after Rittenhouse.

He was armed with a pistol, but also had a pack of medical supplies. He had been to dozens of protests over the summer and said he was at this one to help out with medical care.

He was shot in the arm by Rittenhouse.

Holly Bancroft21 November 2021 10:19


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