The young American Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two people with a semiautomatic rifle and wounded a third on the sidelines of anti-racist demonstrations in August 2020 in the state of Wisconsin, was acquitted this Friday during a widely followed trial in the United States.
The twelve jurors declared to Rittenhouse, 18-year-old “not guilty” of the five accusations against him, including murder, on the fourth day of their deliberations.
Jury deliberated in trial of young man who killed anti-racist protesters in the US
Homicide or self-defense? The jury began this Tuesday to deliberate on the fate of the young white Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two people in the framework of anti-racist demonstrations in 2020 in Kenosha, in the northern United States.
The process, revealer of the fractures in American society regarding firearms, the right to self-defense, and the anti-racist movement Black Lives Matter (Black lives matter), has been widely publicized in the country, which is looking forward to a verdict.
For caution, the governor of Wisconsin asked 500 National Guard soldiers to be ready to intervene when the jury reports their decision.
Twelve citizens will rule on five charges, one of which – murder – what could have been a life sentence.
To convict or acquit Rittenhouse on each of these points they had to reach a unanimous decision. If not, the process will be considered null and void.
The jurors have been confronted with two very different readings of what happened.
For the prosecution, Rittenhouse “sparked” the drama by targeting Kenosha on August 25, 2020 with a semiautomatic rifle., a town that was mired in demonstrations against police excesses against an African-American.
The defendant, who was then 17 years old, he was a “tourist of chaos” who was “looking for arousal” and who “knowingly and willingly caused a dangerous situation,” prosecutor Thomas Binger said Monday.
The young man, who killed two people and wounded a third, claims to have acted in legitimate defense, after being attacked by protesters who, according to him, wanted to take his weapon.
I have not done anything wrong, I just defended myself “
“I have not done anything wrong, I just defended myself,” he said, in tears, before the jurors.
In the process he appears free, after his supporters paid the bail of two million dollars.
The young man is currently a reference in certain right-wing circles for which the great mobilization against police violence in the summer of 2020 was the work of “anti-fascists” or “anarchists.”
On the contrary, for the left, Rittenhouse embodies the excesses of gun culture and the right to self-defense.
Those tensions exploded on Monday in court in Kensoha, where the defendant’s lawyer, Mark Richards, denounced a “political” process.
With information from AFP
Kyle Rittenhouse Free After Paying Millionaire Bail; killed two on Black Lives Matter running