Kenosha Sagittarius acquitted on all counts

Status: 20.11.2021 4:30 a.m.

Hardly any US murder trial has recently been so in focus as the one against Kyle Rittenhouse, the shooter from Kenosha. In the end there was an acquittal. President Biden was disappointed – but called for calm.

By Claudia Sarre, ARD-Studio Washington

“We, the jury concludes that the defendant Kyle H. Rittenhouse is not guilty.” This sentence was heard five times yesterday in the Kenosha courthouse.

Claudia Sarre
ARD-Studio Washington

The 18-year-old was acquitted on all counts, collapsed in relief and fell sobbing around the neck of the person sitting next to him. Rittenhouse was on the way home, he wanted to get on with his life and he wished that none of this had happened, said defense attorney Mark Richards afterwards.

Shot at three men, killing two of them

During the violent anti-racism protests last year, Rittenhouse drove to Kenosha, Wisconsin, feeling that he had to protect businesses from looting. During the night, the then 17-year-old shot three men with a semi-automatic rifle. Two died, one was seriously injured, all three were white.

During the trial, Rittenhouse repeatedly emphasized that he only shot because he was threatened and others had reached for his weapon. “If I had allowed Mr. Rosenbaum to take my weapons,” he said, “he would have killed me with them and possibly even more people.” Rittenhouse was the first to shoot Joseph Rosenbaum, the demonstrator was killed.

Relatives of Rittenhouse’s victims followed the acquittal in the courtroom.

Build: AP

Caused danger yourself?

The prosecution tried to prove that Rittenhouse had created the danger against which he wanted to defend himself through his appearance. Her charges included murder on two counts. But at the end of the three-week process, the jury was apparently of the opinion that the young man had only defended himself.

Experts expected the acquittal, but many were disappointed. The ruling will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, including him, said President Joe Biden. He stands up to the jury’s decision, according to Biden, “the jury system works and we have to adhere to it.” Biden asked everyone to now express their opinion peacefully and in accordance with the law. There is no place in democracy for violence and destruction. Disappointment also among the families of the victims.

Protesters protest in New York against the acquittal. President Biden called for calm.


Acclaimed by right-wing conservatives

The acquittal was welcomed by supporters of the right to own guns and by right-wing conservative politicians. Rittenhouse was not guilty, said Madison Cawthorn, a Republican MP on Instagram yesterday: “You have a right to defend yourself, to be armed, dangerous and moral.”

The protests in Kenosha broke out after a police officer shot the unarmed African American Jakob Blake several times in the back. Blake survived but has been paralyzed since then. Nobody was convicted for this.

It is feared that there could now be riots again. The governor of Wisconsin activated the National Guard.

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