18-Year-old Kyle Rittenhouse wasn’t the only one who breathed an emotional sigh of relief when his jury, after three days of deliberation, brought back to Kenosha Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder a unanimous verdict of not-guilty on all counts on Nov. 19 — people from all walks of life who longed for a fair trial — and a fair outcome, shared the same heart.
The Kyle Rittenhouse story is a representative tale for many Americans, manifesting from the now-infamous summer of 2020 riots where “protestors” and “activists” from groups such as Marxist-linked Black Lives Matter and the anarchist domestic terrorism cell Antifa fostered and stoked chaos in Kenosha, Wisconsin after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a black man, on Aug. 23 of the same year.
To understand the nature of the media and political circus surrounding both the charges and the trial, it’s important to see the full picture.
A match in a tinderbox
In direct footage of Jacob Blake’s shooting, still publicly available on the internet, a belligerent and defiant Blake ignores the commands and instructions of officers and instead attempts to enter his vehicle and drive away. Upon entering the vehicle, Officer Rusten Sheskey, who is in point-blank range, opens fire on Blake, discharging seven rounds.
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In a Sept. 25 article published by CNN, Sheskey’s lawyer, Brendan Matthews, told the outlet in an exclusive interview that the officer was told by a woman at the scene, “He’s got my kid. He’s got my keys,” which led Sheskey to believe Blake was about to kidnap a child and use it as a hostage.
Matthews said his client faced a dilemma if the child ended up being harmed, “The question would have been ‘why didn’t you do something?’” he said.
The attorney also told the outlet that Blake had pulled a knife, held it in his hand, and was turning towards the Sheskey before the officer opened fire.
The shooting of a black man by a white police officer, regardless of context, provided pretext for anarchy to run wild in Kenosha, and it did. On Sept. 1, just eight days after Blake’s death, Daily Mail published aerial footage of the aftermath of the city, showing entire blocks worth of businesses burned out as a result of arson.
The outlet noted the majority of the damage was in Kenosha’s uptown district “where many of the city’s black and Hispanic residents live.”
The Solari Report website, published by former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Housing Catherine Austin Fitts, mapped the aftermath of the chaos, estimating $2 million worth of city property and $50 million in private property was damaged by the violence.
And it’s no conspiracy theory that anarchist and Marxist groups were heavily involved in the affair. Aug. 28 reporting by Empower Wisconsin revealed that, after receiving a tip, local police and U.S. Marshalls “located a black school bus, bread truck and minivan,” which were followed “to a gas station where they observed the occupants of the black bus and bread truck fill multiple cans of gas.”
Citing a police incident report, the outlet said “the vehicles contained various items, including helmets, gas masks, protective vests, illegal fireworks, and suspected controlled substances.”
Nine people were arrested and charged. EW commented, “The vehicles reportedly were connected to Seattle-based Riot Kitchen, a group of radical left protesters that claims to ‘feed the revolution.’ They were portrayed in several mainstream media accounts as friendly helpers.”
“What the stories couldn’t explain is why members of the organization were loading up so many cans of gas, and why the Riot Kitchen crew in the minivan fled from police.”
In fact, the infamous “firey, but most peaceful” meme featuring CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez’s characterization of the scene of burning buildings behind him was from Kenosha’s riots.
Journalist for The Blaze, Elijah Hernandez, had a gun shoved in his face by a BLM rioter while conducting an interview on the ground.
In an Aug. 25 article published by the outlet and still live, Hernandez aggressively documented carnage, such as the arson of the local youth correctional facility and a small business office furniture outlet, on the ground in Kenosha, continually attributing it to the BLM faction.
A series of unfortunate events
Kyle Rittenhouse lived in Antioch, Illinois, a small town of approximately 14,000 people bordering Wisconsin, with his mother at the time. Antioch is a 20 mile, or a half hour, drive by car away from Kenosha, where Rittenhouse’s father lived.
According to an Aug. 28, 2020 article by Gateway Pundit featuring statements provided to the outlet from Rittenhouse’s legal team, on Aug. 25, the boy was working in Kenosha as a community lifeguard and, after work, went to a local high school to help clean graffiti left by previous nights’ rioting.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys told the Pundit, “Later in the day, they received information about a call for help from a local business owner, whose downtown Kenosha auto dealership was largely destroyed by mob violence.”
“Business owner [sic] needed help to protect what he had left of his life’s work, including two nearby mechanic’s shops.”
Chief Video Editor for The Daily Caller, Richie McGinnis, happened to interview Rittenhouse outside of the car dealership on the evening of Aug. 25 before the night’s fateful events occurred. Rittenhouse is seen wearing purple gloves, carrying a first aid kit, and is armed with a semi-automatic rifle.
Rittenhouse told McGinnis, “So, people are getting injured. And our job is to protect this business, and part of my job is also to help people. If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle, because I need to protect myself, obviously. But I also have my medkit.”
According to Aug. 27 reporting by the New York Times, Rittenhouse was forced to leave the dealership as local law enforcement began to capture more territory, “Six minutes later footage shows Mr. Rittenhouse being chased by an unknown group of people into the parking lot of another dealership several blocks away.”
Live video captured by investigative journalist Drew Hernandez of the incident shows Rittenhouse being chased by 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum. Just as Rittenhouse is cornered by Rosenbaum between two cars and discovers a swath of rioters assembling in front of him, a gunshot is fired in the distance, clearly seen in the video.
Rittenhouse, cornered and with no way to know who fired a weapon, turns around to discover the thug advancing in close proximity, and opens fire, landing four shots. Rosenbaum died from his injuries.
Rosenbaum was filmed earlier in the evening by Town Hall reporter Julio Rosas acting aggressive and attempting to incite citizen guardsmen to open fire on him after a dumpster fire he, and other revolutionaries, were trying to roll into a gas station was extinguished.
March 11 reporting by Wisconsin Right Now (WRN) revealed that Rosenbaum had a serious history as a rogue actor. The man had only a ninth grade education, originated from Waco, Texas, and was on the Wisconsin registered sex offender list as a result of a plea bargain in connection with 11 counts of sexual contact with 5 boys, aged 9 to 11, in Arizona in 2002.
After Rittenhouse dropped Rosenbaum, he immediately called the police and took off running as the crowd of thugs began calling for violent retaliation. Video evidence taken by independent reporter Brendan Gutenschwager clearly showed the events that transpired as Rittenhouse ran multiple blocks, attempting to make his way towards police to voluntarily surrender.
After one rioter punches Rittenhouse in the head from behind, a few moments later, he trips and falls. While Rittenhouse is on the ground, he’s swarmed by multiple attackers.
One was Anthony Huber, who WRN reports also had an extensive criminal record. Huber jumped Rittenhouse while he was on the ground, hitting him in the head with a skateboard. However, video shows Rittenhouse restrained himself from firing until Huber attempted to take his rifle, at which point he shot Huber in the chest, killing him.
The third shooting, only a few moments later, was of Gaige Grosskreutz. Of the three men, Grosskreutz had the most marginal criminal record with a dismissed DWI and a conviction on a misdemeanor gun charge. However, WRN Noted his association with “The People’s Revolution, the Milwaukee-area protest group that has been protesting at Mayfair Mall and elsewhere.”
WRN says the organization has a history of attacking and prowling police officers.
After Huber is shot, Grosskreutz, the next man in line in the swarm, was up next. Video shows after Rittenhouse puts him squarely in his sights, Grosskreutz put his hands up as if to surrender, but then feints and pulls a pistol. In response, Rittenhouse fires a single shot into his bicep.
Photos of Grosskreutz, who survived the shooting and served as the prosecution’s “star witness” in a disastrous showing that made Rittenhouse’s assertion of self defense all the more believable, screaming in pain and looking at his wound clearly show a handgun in the same arm’s hand.
After wounding the third man, a fourth, who was on the verge of advancing on Rittenhouse, put both hands in the air to surrender and began to back away without incident. Rittenhouse kept the man in his sights, but demonstrated remarkable self control in a hot and highly escalated situation, and did not open fire.
Rittenhouse attempted to surrender to the police, who simply told him to get off the road. He went home and turned himself in the next day.
The court of public opinion
Despite the fact that video evidence of what transpired that evening was publicly available on social media for the world to see, Rittenhouse was labelled as a “white supremacist” by no less than then-Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s Twitter account on Sept. 30, 2020 when the challenger published a video, which included a photograph of Rittenhouse, accusing Donald Trump of supporting racist actors.
Establishment media was no more fair and balanced in their reporting. In an Aug. 26, 2020 article by the UK’s Daily Mail, the outlet criticized Rittenhouse for attending a Trump rally in January and the fact that “Social media photos show the teen had a strong admiration for law enforcement and guns.”
The article also characterized Rittenhouse’s interview with McGinnis as “bragging about being a vigilante before the mayhem unfolded.”
On Aug. 28, Huffington Post published an article quoting Wisconsin State Representative David Bowen, a Democrat, during an interview with Democracy Now! as claiming white supremacists were on a “hunting spree” that evening in Kenosha, “I literally witnessed firsthand a massive amount of organized white supremacists driving around in pickup trucks, targeting protesters.”
“They were there not there to try to defend businesses…They were there to hurt people. They were armed, and they were using chemical irritants. They were harassing protesters.”
The Post characterized Rittenhouse in the article as “a possible vigilante recruit and Donald Trump supporter.”
During the trial, more than a year later, establishment media still could not help themselves. A Nov. 12 opinion piece by Mediaite written after the prosecution had rested its case, exhibited frustration that a jury was likely to reasonably affirm Rittenhouse’s self-defense argument, so they decided to frame the now-18-year-old as “morally culpable.”
Even the conservative Washington Examiner framed Rittenhouse as a vigilante “at clear moral fault for the two deaths” in the hotly titled opinion piece Don’t Cry for Kenosha Killer Kyle Rittenhouse on Nov. 10.
MSNBC joined the fray on Nov. 7 with an opinion piece titled Kyle Rittenhouse Is on Trial in Wisconsin, but so Is Vigilantism, which was slugged with the slogan “A majority of Republicans now believe that force may be necessary to save ‘the traditional American way of life.’”
For some, it wasn’t enough that Rittenhouse stand trial for his actions before a jury of his peers in a court of law. Steps were taken to intimidate not only the jury, but the defense, and even Judge Schroeder.
Judge Schroeder announced on Nov. 9 that an unidentified individual had been caught by deputies filming jurors during an “incident at the bus pick-up this morning.”
It wasn’t the only instance. During the jury’s three days of examination, on Nov. 18, Schroeder announced that MSNBC producer James Morrison was ordered by the outlet’s New York office to follow the jury’s bus, resulting in the removal of the station from the remainder of the court’s proceedings.
And while the media set their sights on Schroeder himself, being lambasted by the likes of the New York Times and Forbes on Nov. 11 after calling for the courtroom to applaud in commemoration of Veterans Day, being branded a Trump supporter for having the song God Bless the U.S.A. as his ringtone, not allowing the prosecution to refer to Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz as “victims” because the core issue of the trial was self defense, and allowing a recess after Rittenhouse broke down when taking the stand, outside influences were even more alarming.
In a Nov. 12 rewrite of accounts from other outlets such as the Daily Mail and Washington Examiner, Fox News reported that Schroeder “has been receiving threatening emails, faxes and other messages.”
One such message told Schroeder to “Enjoy your term, judge,” because “it’s going to be your LAST.” Another claimed “under your black robes of justice you wear a white robe of the klan” while demanding a resignation.
After his client’s acquittal, defense attorney Mark Richards told the media that “it’s scary how many death threats” that “everybody in this case” had faced. Epoch Times paraphrased Richards as stating, “The lawyer recalled one instance when he answered his phone while on the way home from the Kenosha Courthouse and received a death threat. After the third one, Richards said he stopped answering his phone calls.”
While the jury was deliberating, some politicians attempted to use their influence to sway the trial. On Twitter on Nov. 15, Rep. Cori Bush (D-MI), who Wikipedia notes is a “registered nurse, pastor, and Black Lives Matter activist,” claimed that white supremacists “would hide behind a hill near where Michael Brown Jr. was murdered and shoot at us” in 2014.
Bush made the topic relevant by adding, “If Kyle Rittenhouse gets acquitted, it tells them that even 7 years later they still can get away with it.”
Kyle Rittenhouse would have been 11-years-old at the time.
Journalist Andy Ngo pointed out that the shooter in question during the Ferguson riots was Jeffrey Williams, a black man who was convicted for firing at police officers.
And a repeat of violence in Kenosha if Rittenhouse was acquitted loomed large as the jury deliberated. The New York Post reported on Nov. 12 that many local businesses had closed and boarded up while Governor Evers authorized the deployment of the National Guard the same day.
On Nov. 16 as the jury was in the midst of the second day of determining a young man’s fate, Daily Mail reported that BLM members had sieged the steps of the Kenosha courthouse in a scene analogous to a miniaturized version of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, but with an actual response by law enforcement to keep the peace.
Despite all the threats, chaos, and theatrics, this time in America, justice and the rule of law was upheld. After three days of deliberation, the five male and seven female peers serving as Kyle Rittenhouse’s jury found Rittenhouse acted in self defense, voting unanimously to acquit the youngster on all charges.
Kenosha Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, himself the source of much controversy and conflict with Judge Schroeder throughout the trial, conceded that “The jury has represented our community in this trial and has spoken.”