Prosecutor: defendant instigated bloodshed in Kenosha

KENOSHA, Wisconsin, U.S. (AP) – The prosecution and defense exchanged versions found in the trial of a young white man accused of killing two people and injuring a third during riots and protests against racial injustice in Wisconsin. .

The prosecutor, in his opening statement, asserted that Kyle Rittenhouse instigated the confrontation that led him to shoot three people in the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a protest against racial injustice and that he killed one of the victims of a shot by the back.

In turn, the defense attorney asserted that Rittenhouse was kicked and beaten with a skateboard and fired in self-defense. The jury said “they will end up seeing it from the point of view of a 17-year-old under the circumstances as they occurred.”

Rittenhouse, now 18, is charged with killing two men and wounding a third with an assault rifle. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

The young man who aspired to be a police officer traveled to Kenosha from his home in Illinois, near the Wisconsin border, when protests broke out over the death of Jacob Blake, a black man who was shot in the back by a white police officer. Rittenhouse insisted that he only wanted to defend property after two nights of riots, bonfires and business looting.

In his opening statement, prosecutor Thomas Binger claimed that they were “two of the roughest nights our population has ever seen” and that outsiders were drawn to Kenosha “like moths to a flame.”

But Binger repeatedly stressed that amid the hundreds of people on the streets and the rage and chaos that prevailed, “the only person who killed anyone was the defendant, Kyle Rittenhouse.”

Self-defense is only a valid argument if Rittenhouse had reason to believe that he was in imminent risk of death or serious personal injury.

Rittenhouse, dressed in a dark suit and tie, attended the hearing with apparent calm. Sometimes he would fumble with a bottle of water or look up at the jury. His mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was centered behind him.

He is white, as are the people he shot, but many activists see an underlying trend of racism in the case in part because the protesters had taken to the streets to protest police violence against blacks.

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