A jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse in the murder trial. The situation in Kenosha is tense. Experts warn of excesses.
+++ 09.28 a.m.: The acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse triggered cheers among right-wing extremist groups. A member of the right-wing extremist Proud Boys asked the group in a Telegram chat that the violence on the street had to continue. “The left only stop when their corpses are piled up like cord wood,” said the unnamed member, according to the US radio station National Public Radio (NPR).
+++ Update, 11/20/2021, 6:58 a.m.: It was one of the most watched processes of the year. For the accused Kyle Rittenhouse, it ended in an acquittal. This ruling now arouses fear among experts in the United States of violent excesses in Kenosha, Wisonsin, and elsewhere.
Numerous right-wing extremist groups in the USA celebrated the acquittal in the Rittenhouse trial as a victory for their cause. The nationalist website Vdare described the shooter of Kenosha as “the hero we have long waited for”. Representatives of the right-wing national group “Proud Boys” as well as supporters of the conspiracy hat QAnon cheered in countless social media channels after the verdict was announced. “Our patience has its limits”, according to research by Buzzfeed USA, one of the messages read above a picture of Rittenhouse with his rifle in hand.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal: Right-wing groups feel empowered
According to Alex Newhouse, the risk of right-wing extremist acts of violence has increased significantly as a result of the ruling in the Rittenhouse trial. “These groups are clear and say: load your guns and be ready to shoot,” the deputy director of the Center for Terrorism, Extremism and Counter-Terrorism at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey told Buzzfeed. Even before the verdict, the Justice Department and the FBI had classified the danger posed by right-wing groups as the greatest threat within the United States.
In Kenosha, the police also prepared for riots by left-wing demonstrators. The news channel Fox News reported shortly after the verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhous was announced.
Kyle Rittenhouse: Kenosha shooter acquitted on all charges
+++ 7.30 p.m.: In the much-noticed trial of the violent death of two people in anti-racism protests in the city of Kenosha last year, the accused was acquitted. The twelve jurors found shooter Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all five counts on Friday. The now 18-year-old Rittenhouse had never denied the fatal shots with an assault rifle at the protest in the US state of Wisconsin, but invoked his right to self-defense.
Serious protests broke out in Kenosha in the summer of 2020 after the African-American Jacob Blake was shot several times in the back during a police operation. The case took place in a heated political climate, because only about three months earlier, the African American George Floyd had been killed in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis.
Republicans declares Rittenhouse a hero – and Fauci a “mass murderer”
Update from Friday, November 19, 2021, 12:18 p.m.: Does Kyle Rittenhouse have to go to jail? In the trial against the shooter from Kenosha, the jury withdrew to deliberate on the verdict. Should the court find the 18-year-old accused guilty, the world would be “upside down” for the Republican Jackson Lahmeyer.
The pastor is running in his party’s primary election for one of the Senate seats of the state of Oklahoma. In a Facebook post, Lahmeyer openly shows his solidarity with Rittenhouse, who has been accused of three murders. He is an “American hero” who has “defended himself against convicted pedophile offenders”.
But while the heroic Rittenhouse is on trial, the US would rather “pay homage to a mass murderer”. Lahmeyer means none other than Dr. Anhtony Fauci. “He belongs in jail,” is the Republican’s clear opinion of the country’s top virologist, who has advised every president since Ronald Reagan. In Pastor Lahmeyer’s world, Dr. But Fauci is not against the corona virus, but is part of a cabal that created the pathogen in China as a biological weapon.
USA: Judge in the Rittenhouse trial causes a stir again
Update from Thursday, November 18, 2021, 9.25 a.m.: The US is still waiting for the verdict in the murder trial against Kyle Rittenhouse. Even on the second day of their deliberations, the jury could not come to an agreement. However, she checked several key video evidence depicting the Kenosha shootings on August 25, 2020. Today, Thursday, the jury will resume its deliberations.
Meanwhile, the judge presiding over Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial is making amazing headlines once again. When explaining his decision as to why he had allowed Rittenhouse to choose the names of the six jurors who would not be on the final jury of twelve.
Judge Bruce Schroeder went far to set out his reasons. The last time he allowed a clerk to choose names, Schroeder said, was about two decades ago in a trial with a black defendant. That looked very bad at the time, said Schroeder, for the following reason: The clerk had eliminated “one black, the black, the only black” from a jury pool of 13 people. “People just feel better when they are in control, so I’ve followed the policy since then that the accused make the selection.”
“I think people feel better when they have control.”
Watch Judge Bruce Schroeder explain the “bizarre and unusual” moment when he had Kyle Rittenhouse pick his jurors “out of the tumbler” on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/GVmZJrlRIi
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) November 17, 2021
Rittenhouse process divides USA: Racist abuse from Trump fans
Update from Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 10.45 a.m.: The trial against Kyle Rittenhouse continues to divide the USA. A verdict has not yet been passed, but in front of the courthouse in Kenosha two factions have now faced each other more or less irreconcilably. Clearly, before the verdict against Rittenhouse, there is a sense of unease in the city.
“Black Lives Matter,” called one of the two groups. “Self-defense is not a crime,” replied the other group. But as journalist Sergio Olmos showed in a Twitter thread, it did not always end with these rather harmless verbal skirmishes. At one point the situation almost escalated when a white man, who could be recognized as a fan of former President Donald Trump by his hat, almost fought a fight with a black man. In the end it was a push and the racist exclamation that he should finally get out of the field with his black bottom.
The protests by the two sides clearly show what the trial means for the millions of people who are watching the case in the state of Wisconsin and across the United States. For some, Rittenhouse is a gun-crazy teenager who simply took the judiciary into his own hands and simply shot three people on an anti-racism demonstration – two men lost their lives in the process. Others see an innocent man in Rittenhouse who was attacked by a violent mob at the demonstration on August 25, 2020 and who used his weapon in self-defense.
Rittenhouse is charged with negligent homicide, willful homicide, and attempted homicide. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.
Rittenhouse divides the USA: Now the jury decides on his fate
First report from November 16, 2021: Kenosha – He is still a teenager. On August 25, 2020, the then 17-year-old Kyle R. set off for Kenosha in the US state of Wisconsin with a semi-automatic rifle. There he joined armed men who said they wanted to protect businesses from looting.
Because the city was in turmoil at that time. After a police officer seriously wounded the black Jacob Blake with multiple shots in the back, numerous people gathered to protest against racism and police violence. The demos were not always peaceful, sometimes under the banner of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
And then suddenly two people were dead, 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber, shot by Kyle R. A third man, Gaige Grosskreutz (26), was seriously injured.
Kenosha: Trump stands behind the shooter
The case seemed clear. But the situation was not that simple. The process is politically charged and is causing a sensation nationwide because it is related to the Black Lives Matter protests. So the right-wing mobilized in the US. For them, the teenager became a true folk hero, who was almost hymnically adored by many. One example is the right-wing conservative author Ann Coulter, who tweeted on August 27, 2020 that she would like to see the shooter from Kenosha as president.
And the then President Donald Trump fully supported the teenager: He was “in great trouble” because demonstrators had “violently attacked” him, Trump said at the time. “He would probably have been killed.” In any case, Trump repeatedly blamed left groups such as the Antifa for the riots on the sidelines of the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Kenosha Trial: Judgment is Imminent
Now the judgment is imminent. A jury jury will start its work today, Tuesday (November 16, 2021). The teen’s lawyers are hoping for an acquittal. They argue that the then 17-year-old acted in self-defense and that the men attacked him. The prosecution denied this, saying it was Kyle R. who “provoked” the situation. He was “to be found guilty on all counts”. The teenager himself had said in court that he “did nothing wrong” but “defended himself”.
The charges include murder. The not undisputed judge Bruce Schroeder asked the jury not to be guided “by sympathy, passion, prejudice or political attitudes”. The opinion of “the President of the United States or that of his predecessor” should not play a role, said Schroeder, referring to Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump.
Kenosha: fear of new unrest
But it’s not that simple. After the presidency of Donald Trump, the country is more divided than ever before. And the Kenosha process is also about which side the people in the USA are on. For some, Kyle R. is a hero, for others he’s just a murderer. It can hardly be assumed that the judgment will be accepted equally by both sides. There is already great fear of renewed excesses.
In any case, Wisconsin’s Governor Tony Evers has already put 500 members of the state’s National Guard on standby as a precaution should there be unrest after a verdict. (cs)
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