An overview of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial



CBS released the verdict on Nov. 19.

In November 2021, Kyle Rittenhouse was placed on trial for shooting three men, two of whom died. This instance took place in the Kenosha, Wis. riots in August 2020. Rittenhouse’s intent was to go to Kenosha to protect private businesses. The riots of Kenosha took place after an officer had shot and seriously injured Jacob Blake, a black man. This happened in the midst of George Floyd protests, escalating the situation in Kenosha.

Kyle Rittenhouse was a 17-year-old, now 18, when he shot the three men. He faced charges of first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, reckless endangerment, and carrying a firearm illegally as a minor. If found guilty for any of the homicide charges Rittenhouse would have faced a maximum sentence of life.

“I’m sure there will be protests in retaliation for both sides after the verdict is released, probably making the situation worse, when we should just leave it to the professionals,” said Jack Stout, senior.

Rittenhouse’s charge for carrying an underage firearm was dropped by the judge about a week before the final verdict. Rittenhouse was not of age to buy a firearm, and his was purchased by a friend.

“I’m sure the judicial system wanted to go all-in on the homicide charges and views the underage firearm charges irrelevant in this case, that does not dismiss that it isn’t right to do that,” said Pete Deftos, senior.

Some confusion arose on social media as people spoke out against and for Rittenhouse. Many claimed he crossed state lines just to commit these crimes. Kyle Rittenhouse’s father lived in Kenosha and Kyle worked as a lifeguard in Kenosha County.

In video form, Rittenhouse’s defense used drone footage and witness footage to show that he was provoked before shooting the three men in self-defense. 

Rittenhouse joined a group of armed people who claimed they were protecting small businesses. Rittenhouse was chased into the parking lot of a dealership by Joseph Rosenbaum who lunged at Rittenhouse to take his gun. Rittenhouse turned around and fired his gun four times. Rittenhouse proceeded to run away from two other attackers, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz. Both of them attempted to confront Rittenhouse, one with a skateboard, the other with a pistol.

The trial received mass media attention from all sides. It caught the attention of all news channels, celebrities, and social media. This had no effect on the trial itself, but the people involved received heavy backlash. The prosecutor was under fire and as well as the judge for being ‘biased’ towards Rittenhouse. In this article you can see some of the general reaction received from the trial of social media. He was also mocked for appearing insincere, most notably by Lebron James on Twitter.

Lebron James´s tweet in reaction to Kyle Rittenhouse crying at court(courtesy of Twitter)

“I think it’s important to leave your opinion out of a situation you aren’t familiar with both sides on, especially ones involving homicide; it is a serious situation that can end badly for the accused or the victims,” said James Fridholm, senior.

Kyle Rittenhouse’s verdict was not guilty on all charges on November 19, 2021.