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Free Kyle Rittenhouse!


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https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/free-kyle-rittenhouse/

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ave you been following the trial of Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse? This happened yesterday as Rittenhouse was testifying about events of that night:

 

Screen-Shot-2021-11-10-at-9.21.45-AM-e16

Watch this — he’s on fire, and he’s right to be.

The prosecution of Rittenhouse is a disgrace. pic.twitter.com/VS2DhcLXn8

— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) November 10, 2021

 

Don’t know if you saw it, but in his testimony, Gage Grosskreutz, who was shot by Rittenhouse but survived, admitted that Rittenhouse didn’t shoot him until he (Grosskreutz) first pointed his gun at Rittenhouse.

We know that the two others Rittenhouse shot that night were Rosenbaum, the convicted criminal who chased him and tried to disarm him, and Huber, a protester who lunged at him on the ground, and hit him with a skateboard. Those seem to be clear-cut cases of self-defense, as with the Grosskreutz shooting. But the jury will have its say.

It’s a shame that Rittenhouse is even on trial. True, he was 17, and shouldn’t have been out on the streets that night. But what a sad story: a fatherless boy who wanted so badly to be a good man, to serve his community, to protect good people from bad ones. And this is where he is today. As J.D. Vance explains, tech media refused to let people raise money for Rittenhouse’s defense. They have decided that Rittenhouse is the enemy. This class of people have decided that people like Rittenhouse are the enemy.

I’m sick of it. Where, aside from J.D. Vance, are the Republican politicians who stand up for the Kyle Rittenhouses of the world? The tears of that boy on the witness stand ought to tear your heart out for what has happened to this country, and what the Machine does to someone like that.

Agreed. This trial is a sham.

 

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It almost appears the Prosecution is now doing all he can for a mistrial.  He certainly ticked off the judge.

https://100percentfedup.com/judge-in-kyle-rittenhouse-case-clears-jury-shouts-at-woke-prosecutor-for-grave-constitutional-violation-video/

During Rittenhouse’s testimony this afternoon, Judge Bruce Schroeder lashed out at Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger.

Rittenhouse attorney Mike Richards objected when ADA Binger questioned why the 18-year-old decided to remain silent after the Kenosha shooting incident that left two dead and one injured, hooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Before he lashed out at the inept ADA, Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder paused the trial and sent the jury out of the room.

“I was astonished when you began your examination by commenting on the defendant’s post-arrest silence,” Schroeder shouted. “That’s basic law. It’s been basic law in this country for 40 or 50 years,” he said, adding, “I don’t know what you’re up to.”

The judge admonished Binger, “You’re an experienced trial lawyer, and this should not have been gone into.”

 

Watch the heated exchange here:

MSN – Schroeder also chastised Binger for discussing a piece of evidence that Schroeder had previously banned from being brought up at trial.

Binger was attempting to question Rittenhouse about a video recorded weeks before the Kenosha shootings,  The video was apparently filmed from inside a car, across the street from a CVS Pharmacy, where several hooded people could be seen rushing out and clutching items.

A voice that sounds like Rittenhouse’s could be heard saying, “Bro, I wish I had my f—ing AR. I’d start shooting rounds at them.

Binger had previously argued that the video showed Rittenhouse “was ready and willing to use deadly force in a situation where it was completely unjustified,” but Schroeder ruled against him, barring it from being discussed at trial.

On Wednesday, Richards called the situation “ridiculous,” saying the prosecutor was ignoring the judge’s previous rulings.

When Binger said Rittenhouse’s testimony opened the door to the questions, Schroeder again raised his voice.

“Don’t get brazen with me!” he shouted. “I don’t want to have another issue as long as this case continues, is that clear?”

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Curious if any of our legal types have listened to these proceedings? In listening to jury instructions this morning, the judge had three days to come up with jury instructions and he has stumbled and stuttered through this whole thing. 
I believe the trial is a sham, this prosecutor has clearly been pressured into charging this young man without having a real case. That being said, I’m also curious as to our legal guys take on the judge’s behavior during the trial?

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Jury Begins Deliberations at Kyle Rittenhouse Murder Trial

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2021-11-16/jury-to-begin-deliberations-at-kyle-rittenhouse-murder-trial

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The jury began deliberating Tuesday at the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse after listening to dueling portrayals of him as a “wannabe soldier” who went looking for the trouble, or a concerned citizen who came under attack while trying to protect property.

 

The case went to the anonymous, 12-member jury after Rittenhouse himself, in a highly unusual move, was allowed by the judge to draw the slips of paper from a raffle drum that determined which of the 18 people who sat in judgment during the trial would decide his fate and which ones would be dismissed as alternates.

 

Rittenhouse, 18, faces life in prison if convicted as charged for using a AR-style semi-automatic rifle to kill two men and wound a third during a night of protests a

gainst racial injustice in Kenosha in the summer of 2020. The former police youth cadet is white, as were those he shot.

The resulting jury appeared to be overwhelmingly white.

....

In his instructions to the jury, Circuit Judge Bruce Schroder said that to accept Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense, the jurors must find that he believed there was an unlawful threat to him and that the amount of force he used was reasonable and necessary.

I have never heard of this 'jury raffle' for deliberations before.  Is it just a Wisconsin thing or to other state and local courts use this method?

 

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May be an image of 5 people and outdoors

Keep in mind this picture captured the first time Kyle was chased/knocked down, kicked in the face, stomped and hit in the head with a skateboard. He did not fire his weapon, he got up and ran again. He only fired after the 2nd and 3rd time he was knocked to the pavement by a child raping lunatic and 2 armed felons who had their weapons pointed at his head. If this isn't a cause to use lethal self-defense, I don't know what else is.....

This is from testimony in court.  That the mainstream press hasn't reported on for some reason....

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"When the defendant provokes the incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense to a danger you create." In other words, Rittenhouse was asking for trouble and got it.

So if a woman is dressed provacativly, and is walking in a public park after dark and gets raped, she was asking for it?

Here are some other "narrative adjustments" from the MSM during this trial...... 

No photo description available.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'KYLE RITTENHOUSE TRIAL MEDIA CLAIM RITTENHOUSE TESTIMONY Rittenhouse has few/n ties to Kenosha Rittenhouse was a lifeguard in Kenosha at the time and his father lived there TFoX SOON: RITTENHOUSE TRIAL JURY DELIBERATIONS NEWS 8:03CT NEWS ALERT RITTENHOUSE DELIBERATIONS 10AM ET'

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'KYLE RITTENHOUSE TRIAL MEDIA CLAIM RITTENHOUSE TESTIMONY Rittenhouse was an outsider and did not understand law enforcement -He was a police explorer for the Grayslake Police Department, a cadet with the Antioch Fire Department, and a certified lifeguard FOX RITTENHOUSE MEDIA CLAIMS VS TRIAL TESTIMONY NEWS 7:03MT /FOX NEWS ALERT RITTENHOUSE JURY DELIBERATIONS 10AM ET'

May be an image of text that says 'Rittenhouse shot people as he ran away KYLE RITTENHOUSE TRIAL MEDIA CLAIM TESTIMONY Prosecution witness confirms Rittenhouse shot when a pistol was pointed at his face /FOX FOX RITTENHOUSE MEDIA CLAIMS VS TRIAL TESTIMONY NEWS channel NEWS ALERT RITTENHOUSE JURY DELIBERATIONS 10AM ET'

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Op-Ed: Kyle Rittenhouse a hero? No, he was a callow, foolish boy who had no business being in Kenosha

https://www.indystar.com/story/opinion/2021/11/17/op-ed-kyle-rittenhouse-hero-no-he-foolish-being-kenosha/8656284002/

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I’ve owned guns all my life. I’ve hunted nearly as long. The 19th-century Colt double-barrel shotgun that belonged to my grandfather (and probably his dad, too) is a treasured family heirloom. When it was time for my son to learn to hunt, we took a hunter safety course together, and I tried to teach him these important lessons just as my father had taught them to me.

I say all this because I cannot understand why anyone would think Kyle Rittenhouse is a hero.

He is no hero. He is a callow boy who didn't understand how to handle a gun — and worse, didn't understand the most important thing about owning a gun for protection: You do everything possible to make sure you never have to use it.

He should have stayed home.

The state may or may not prove its case against Rittenhouse, who was all of 17 years old on Aug. 25, 2020, when he shot three people, leaving two of them dead. Proving intentional, reckless and attempted homicide and reckless endangerment may prove too high a bar for this particular jury. His right to self-defense is a trump card. People have a right to defend themselves — even when they do stupid things. 

But Rittenhouse and his family are guilty of something — they are guilty of tragically bad judgment.

What did this boy think would happen if he carried an AR-15-type rifle into the chaos that warm summer night?

With so little training or experience?

Professional police officers know how to handle a weapon, and the best cops know how to de-escalate a tense situation — they know how to keep it from getting worse. A young vigilante knows none of these things. 

Some people want to make Rittenhouse a hero; they argue he's a positive role model for other young people: He saw a problem. He took action. He stood up when the police stood down. 

But all I see is recklessness. The images from the videos of Gaige Grosskreutz's exploding arm are seared in my mind. None of this should ever have happened.

We live in a society where guns have become a fetish for some people — where open carrying a weapon is a way to signal allegiance to your tribe. Where people with guns can cram into a statehouse in Michigan. Where gun-toting people who aren’t sworn officers can cram the streets in Kenosha.

And claim they are protecting the public.

It's an illusion. And it's dangerous.

David French closed his excellent essay in The Atlantic earlier this week this way:

The law gives even foolish men the right to defend their lives. But an acquittal does not make a foolish man a hero. A political movement that turns a deadly and ineffective vigilante into a role model is a movement that is courting more violence and encouraging more young men to recklessly brandish weapons in dangerous places, and that will spill more blood in America’s streets.

My father died 20 years ago. But I know exactly what he would say about the events in Kenosha. He would see a lesson in what Rittenhouse did. He would tell his teenage son: Don’t you ever do something so stupid. You stay home and stay out of trouble.

I tend to agree with Mr. Haynes.  Young Mr. Rittenhouse is no hero,  but neither do I believe he is guilty of all the crimes the prosecution has charged him with. 

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I happen to agree that a 17 year old kid shouldn't have been there in these circumstances, but he was.  I disagree with the statement  He is a callow boy who didn't understand how to handle a gun   He clearly knew HOW to safely carry that weapon and he also knew WHEN and HOW to use it most effectively.

Perhaps those (mostly peaceful according to the media) rioters and protesters burning and looting the town, terrorizing the citizens should have heeded these words from the op-ed  as well: Don’t you ever do something so stupid. You stay home and stay out of trouble. But they didn't either....and a couple of them paid the price.

Correct - Mr. Rittenhouse is not a hero, I agree, but he legally (see item 4 below) and effectively defended himself in this situation.

Now the ever-trusted media of today is constantly reporting (propaganda) labeling this guy as a racist militia member:

https://nypost.com/2021/11/17/10-debunked-heinous-lies-about-kyle-rittenhouse-devine/

Of all the willful lies and omissions in the media’s coverage of the Steele dossier, Brian Sicknick, the Covington kids, Jussie Smollett, the Wuhan lab, Hunter Biden’s laptop and so on, nothing beats the evil propaganda peddled about Kyle Rittenhouse.

They try to make the Rittenhouse case about race, but it’s about class, punching down at the white working-class son of a single mother because they don’t see him as fully human, and it makes them feel good. 

They lie about him because they can.

The central media narrative is that Kyle Rittenhouse is a white supremacist whose mother drove him across state lines with an AR-15 to shoot Black Lives Matter protesters. All lies.

“A white, Trump-supporting, MAGA-loving Blue Lives Matter social media partisan, 17 years old, picks up a gun, drives from one state to another with the intent to shoot people,” was typical from John Heilemann, MSNBC’s national affairs analyst.

So, let’s go through 10 lies about Rittenhouse, debunked in court:

1. He killed two black BLM protesters. All three of the men he shot in self-defense during violent riots in Kenosha on Aug. 25 last year were white.

2. He crossed state lines. He lived 20 miles from Kenosha in Antioch, Ill., with his mother and sisters. But his father, grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousins and best friend live in Kenosha. He had a job as a lifeguard in Kenosha and worked a shift on Aug. 25 before helping clean graffiti left by rioters at a local school. There, he and his friend were invited to join other adults who had been asked by the owners of a used car lot in Kenosha to guard the property after 100 cars had been torched the previous night, when police abandoned the town to rioters. Kyle took his gun to protect himself, since the rioters were violent and armed, including, for instance, Antifa medic Gaige Grosskreutz, who lunged at him with a loaded Glock pointed at his head before he was shot in the arm. 

 

3. Rittenhouse took an AR-15 across state lines. Esquire accused him of “terrorist tourism.” False. His rifle was kept in a safe at his best friend’s stepfather’s house in Kenosha.

4. The gun was illegal. Wrong. Under Wisconsin law, he was entitled to possess the AR-15 as a 17-year-old. The judge dismissed the gun charge, which the prosecution never should have brought.

5. Rittenhouse’s mother drove him across state lines to the riot. Wendy Rittenhouse, 46, never went to Kenosha. She slept late the morning of Aug. 25 after working a 16-hour shift at a nursing home near her home in Antioch, she told the Chicago Tribune. Kyle had already gone to his job in Kenosha when she woke up.

6. He was an “active shooter” who took his gun to a riot looking for trouble. “A 17-year-old kid just running around shooting and killing protesters,” said MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, “who drove across state lines with an AR-15 and started shooting people up.” On Friday, after evidence in court already had debunked his talking points, Scarborough called Rittenhouse a “self-appointed militia member … unloading 60 rounds.” When the defense called out the lie in closing arguments, Scarborough had the gall to tweet that he was “embarrassed” for the lawyer.

7. Rittenhouse is a “white supremacist,” as then-candidate Joe Biden labeled him in a tweet showing the teenager’s photograph. When White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked to explain why recently, she slyly slimed Rittenhouse again, without naming him, as a “vigilante.”

In one story, the Intercept used the term “white supremacist” 16 times. The accusation has become holy writ, but there is zero evidence. The FBI scoured Kyle’s phone and found nothing about white supremacy or militias, the court heard. All they saw were pro-police, “Blue Lives Matter” posts from a kid who had been a police and fire department cadet, wanted to be a police officer or paramedic and once sat near the front of a Trump rally. That was enough for the media to brand him a white supremacist.
8. He “flashed white power signs” with Proud Boys. After spending three months in jail, Kyle was freed on $2 million bail two days after his 18th birthday last year, and went to a bar for a beer, with his mother and other adults, which is legal in Wisconsin. He posed for selfies with strangers at the bar, who the media say are Proud Boys, and was pictured making the OK sign with his thumb and forefinger. The false claim that this is a white supremacist sign comes from a 2017 hoax on the website 4chan, to punk liberals, who keep falling for it. Biden uses the gesture frequently. It was unwise to pose for the photo, but it does not mean Kyle is associated with white supremacists.

9. He wore surgical gloves “to cover his fingerprints.” This pearl was spread by Matthew Modine, another celebrity bigmouth. Kyle wore gloves because he was giving first aid to protesters. His face was bare, so he was hardly hiding.

  Wendy Rittenhouse, Kyle’s mother, was not present with her son when he traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool

10. Judge Bruce Schroeder is a “Trumpy” racist biased toward the defense. This slur is based on the fact he would not let the prosecution use the term “victim” — common practice when the jury has not ruled on a case. He told a lame joke about Asian food for lunch being held up by the supply-chain crisis, and his phone’s ring tone sounds like a 1980s ditty played at Trump rallies. Ridiculous. In fact, Schroeder is a Democrat, has run as a Democrat for the Wisconsin Senate and was first appointed by a Democratic governor. Bias was also perceived in what the Chicago Tribune said was his “highly unusual” decision to allow Kyle to draw names randomly out of a container at the end of the trial to determine which 12 of the 18 jurors would decide his fate. It’s something this judge always does, he told the court.

On the second day of jury deliberations Wednesday, the judge railed against media distortions, although he seemed most aggrieved about attacks on his reputation, rather than Kyle’s. He threatened to stop trials from being televised, but that’s exactly the wrong solution. 

 

Only because the public was able to hear the evidence for themselves did they become aware of the malevolent dishonesty of the media coverage, which has threatened a fair trial and ensured riots if Kyle is justly acquitted.

 

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Judge Schroeder Was Right to Kick MSNBC Out of His Courtroom for Jury Tampering

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/judge-schroeder-was-right-to-kick-msnbc-out-of-his-courtroom-for-jury-tampering/

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Public access to trials is an important value, but criminal trials do not exist for the purpose of entertaining the public or feeding culture war. They exist to provide due process of law. Nothing in a murder case is more important than a fair trial. The accused, facing serious punishment for a grave crime, needs that fairness. The public, demanding justice for a grave crime, deserves it. Anything in a courtroom that seeks to derail a fair trial can and should be forcibly restrained or kicked out of the courtroom. That is why judges yell at prosecutors and toss their evidence. It is why defendants who menace the witnesses or the jury sometimes end up bound, gagged, or taped to their chairs. And it is why media outlets who threaten a fair trial lose their right to be there.

Judge Bruce Schroeder, the veteran trial judge overseeing the Kyle Rittenhouse case, understands that; indeed, he has a long reputation as a judge who is unusually solicitous of the rights of criminal defendants. He has now banned MSNBC from his courtroom after a man claiming to be an NBC producer was arrested for following a bus full of jurors, apparently in order to photograph them. NBC News admitted that the man was with the network, but denied that he had taken photos.

Publicity of the identity of the jurors can be a well-known form of jury intimidation and jury tampering. As the Fourth Circuit explained last year in United States v. Johnson, involving the trial of members of a Baltimore street gang, even the perception that jurors were being photographed raises serious questions of tampering with the jury:

During the trial, the district court received multiple reports that members of the jury were concerned about their personal safety. Most notably, one juror reported that family members or friends of the defendants (the defendants’ associates) had used cellular telephones to take photographs of the jurors in a public area of the courthouse . . .

By focusing on the question whether photographs, in fact, had been taken, and in failing to consider whether the defendants’ associates had in any way intimidated the jurors by displaying their cell phones, the district court failed to consider the effect on the jurors of the perceived external contact. A third party’s threat or perceived attempt to take a photograph of a juror may be no less intimidating to that juror than the actual taking of such a photograph. Thus, the question whether a photograph was taken was not dispositive of the prejudice inquiry, as one or more jurors may have felt intimidated regardless. By limiting its inquiry to the actual existence of photographs, the district court left key substantive matters unresolved, namely, whether anyone had attempted or threatened to take photographs of the jurors, the identity of the alleged actors and their relationship to the case, and the impact of Juror #4’s statement on other members of the jury. (Emphasis added).

Johnson was an extreme case, given that the defendants were already on trial for murdering witnesses, but given the national publicity this trial has received, the vitriolic arguments over it, and MSNBC’s hostility to the entire process, it was entirely reasonable for Judge Schroeder to conclude that it was a threat to a fair trial to have NBC News tailing the jurors and creating, at a minimum, a perception that the jurors would have their identities splashed across national TV by a media outlet bent on directing anger at them. The national political media is not, as it sometimes styles itself, the only people with rights that need protecting.

 

 

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SF agrees with the jury.......

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/11/19/us/kyle-rittenhouse-trial

Kyle Rittenhouse Acquitted on All Counts: Live Updates

The jury deliberated three and a half days in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot three men, two of them fatally, during demonstrations in Kenosha, Wis.

 
Image

merlin_197529777_80e7d11f-ceec-465e-9b4c-3c710054cea5-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale Credit...Pool photo by Sean Krajacic

 

Key Updates:

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Main Stream Media begins printing defamation settlement checks under the name Kyle Rittenhouse. Starting now.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10191575/Rittenhouse-walks-does-reputation-smears-Biden-Libs.html

The liberals who acted as Rittenhouse's judge and jury before hearing a word of evidence: How Joe Biden, 'The Squad' and liberal media smeared Kyle Rittenhouse by branding him a white supremacist and domestic terrorist

  • Then-Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden tweeted a campaign video depicting Rittenhouse as a white supremacist
  • Politifact inaccurately reported that the teen violated the law by carrying a rifle in Wisconsin
  • Esquire described Rittenhouse's behavior as 'terrorist tourism'
  • The Intercept referred to the former youth police cadet as one of several apparent, 'white supremacist defendants'
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley accused Rittenhouse of being a 'white supremacist domestic terrorist'
  • 'The View's' Joy Behar echoed the oft-repeated falsehood that the teen illegally crossed state lines with a weapon
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar declared Rittenhouse 'executed two people' in Kenosha
  • The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus called to 'lock up' the Illinois teen even as his trial was still underway
  • MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely claimed that the then-17-year-old's mother drove him 'across state lines' to Kenosha 

 

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Kyle Rittenhouse Deserves More Than Acquittal

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-rittenhouse-verdict-is-good-but-kenosha-needs-more/

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Shoot me, n***er, shoot me!” screamed the patient who had been released that day, apparently itching for conflict with a bunch of men with guns. Joseph Rosenbaum, 36-year-old father of a two-year old daughter, had tried to kill himself. Released from the hospital, unsuccessful, he stumbled—so the story goes—unknowingly into a riot on the burned-out streets of downtown Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Racial justice demonstrators, as the media have taken to calling them, were out in force in support of Jacob Blake, who had been shot while reaching for a knife as police tried to arrest him for sexual assault, and who happened to be black. Rosenbaum, we are told, didn’t care about any of that. He just wanted to get in on the action.

In a Kenosha courtroom this past week, a delicate-featured ADA with a front-heavy fauxhawk and a middle-schooler’s suit entreated the jury in a criminal trial: “Let me tell you all the awful things Joseph Rosenbaum did.” This segue, delivered with heavy sarcasm in a shrill and grating voice, was not a sincere offer to enumerate the horrific sins of Mr. Rosenbaum’s short life. The forced and repeated sodomy of five boys aged 9 to 11, for which “JoJo” Rosenbaum spent time in an Arizona prison, was notably omitted—in fact, the prosecution had ensured that this rather significant testament to the dead man’s character would not be mentioned at all in the course of the Kenosha trial.

Instead, the prosecutor ran through a list of the minor crimes Rosenbaum is known to have committed on that particular night, keeping up the same bizarre tone throughout. He concluded: “Oh, and there’s this empty wooden flatbed trailer that they pulled out in the middle of the road, and they tipped it over to stop some BearCats, and they lit it on fire,” adding a particularly emphatic intonation to that last word, as if to suggest that one would be insane to take offense at arson.

A single line in the prosecutor’s closing-argument PowerPoint describes Rosenbaum as: “Tiny guy. ‘Babbling idiot.’” The prosecutor waves away his documented belligerence that night as merely a “Napoleon complex,” insisting that the five-foot, four-inch pedophile with a death wish was a perfectly harmless rioter.

He also had bipolar disorder, a volatile mental illness that was clearly not well managed. Copious footage from the night in question shows him antagonizing just about everyone he can, and the testimony of multiple witnesses suggests he threatened many (including Rittenhouse) with death. It is a kind of ostentatious bravado clearly learned in prison, which Rosenbaum seems never to have expected he might have to back up—he seems, in fact, not even to have understood what backing it up might mean. He spent his final moments furiously chasing an armed 17-year-old through the streets, ultimately lunging for his Smith & Wesson M&P 15, at which point the teenager felt he had no choice but to pull the trigger.

Against my better judgment, the more I’ve watched and read about this case the sadder I’ve felt for Joseph Rosenbaum. I cannot even begin to imagine the anguish of such a twisted soul. The workings of the demonic are as evident in him as the recognizably human is absent. What made the man of August 25th we may never know, but there is little doubt that one treated well by the world would not have wound up in Rosenbaum’s condition. He was immensely sick, a man whose evil did unspeakable damage to other souls but immeasurable damage to his own—practically subhuman, right up to his death. The natural response to him is disgust, but I think it should be mixed with pity. This was a kind of pedophilic Gollum, a creature so broken and pathetic as to be almost below reproach.

A step above this is Thomas Binger, the prosecutor whose words are reproduced above. A middle-aged man with more flair than charisma, the most notable event in his life thus far was losing an election as a Democrat in neighboring Racine County. Throughout the Rittenhouse trial he drew mockery online for his outlandish hairdo and colorful outfits, finally catching on and donning a simple gray suit for his two-hour closing argument.

Despite holding a degree from the tenth-ranked law school in the country, Binger seems blissfully unaware of the law. In one of the trial’s viral moments, for instance, he was scolded by Judge Bruce Schroeder for questioning Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence, which has long been understood by the courts as a basic constitutional right. His entire approach to his own profession seems to have been learned watching Legally Blonde.

Like Rosenbaum, he is obnoxiously unmanly, and not just because he is unable to carry out his work. The entirety of the prosecution’s argument is, in effect, reducible to Binger’s awed, almost mystical sense of guns—with which he clearly has no real familiarity. In one of the trial’s tortured interactions, Binger quizzes the defendant on the differences between hollow-point and full-metal-jacket ammunition—differences about which neither man knew anything at all. At another point, Binger expresses shock that Rittenhouse could have thought Gaige Grosskreutz—who pointed a gun at Rittenhouse with an arm bearing the tattoo “First, Do No Harm”—was actually going to shoot it because he never stepped back, squared his legs, and put both hands on the gun in a “ready-fire position.” At another point, he expresses further shock that Rittenhouse could have deemed Grosskreutz a threat because the latter only had a little pistol, whereas the former had a big, scary AR-15. In yet another bizarre episode, Binger frets that “wearing an AR-15 does not send a warm, inviting message.” The prosecutor’s detached ignorance culminated dramatically in his pointing Rittenhouse’s gun at people in the courtroom, bolt forward and finger on the trigger—a violation of the most basic principles of firearm safety, especially egregious given recent headline news.

Throughout his arguments, Binger alternated violently between coldly amoral and grossly sanctimonious. In one instance he gave a brief rundown of the people to whom Rittenhouse had provided first aid that night; drawled out a long, sarcastic “yayyy” at a womanly register; then suddenly screamed “I don’t give you any credit” in a burst of rage and an altogether different voice. At another uncomfortable moment, he substituted “yuh” for “you’re” in what might have been a swing-and-miss at hood-speak.

Nor is it just in practice that Binger seems confused at the concept of masculinity. He is horrified that, after shooting the man who pulled a gun on him, Kyle Rittenhouse “walks away like he’s some sort of hero in a western.” Together with his use of a still from the movie Road House in the course of his closing argument, such comments suggest that Binger’s entire understanding of traditional manliness, and of how a man handles himself in the face of violence, is limited to what he’s consumed secondhand on a screen.

On the level of fact, it did not seem to matter to Binger that Rittenhouse was actually walking to the police line, where some moron cop pepper-sprayed him, apparently unaware that approaching a police line with both hands in the air is a commonly accepted gesture of surrender. The mere fact of walking makes him some kind of fake hero, like those macho jerks in the movies men sometimes like to watch.

And what, to Binger, is a real hero? That would be the men whom Rittenhouse shot. This includes, of course, the aforementioned JoJo Rosenbaum, who was just trying to take a gun away from some mean white supremacist kid—who, as Tucker Carlson said, “died the way he lived: trying to touch an unwilling minor.”

It includes, also, Anthony Huber, whose criminal record contains a litany of charges linked to domestic abuse. It includes Gaige Grosskreutz, that tattooed medic who admitted to pointing a gun at the teenage defendant before the latter pulled the trigger. It also includes an unidentified man who attempted to kick Rittenhouse in the face in the few seconds between those other two attacks.

Each of these men was “trying to be a hero and stop an active shooter and protect others.” Mixing hyperbole with delusion, Binger assured the jury: “Every day we read about heroes that [sic] stop active shooters. That’s what was going on here.” And yet “that doesn’t make them a threat to the defendant’s life.” Why not is never explained to us; we are just left to assume that the standard rules about meeting deadly force with deadly force do not apply when the instigators are racial justice demonstrators.

Signs displayed by protestors outside the courthouse this past week likewise cast them as martyrs of Kenosha’s “beautiful rising.” They are heroes among men, and the man who shot them is just (in another oddly cruel and bitter phrase that cannot have helped Mr. Binger’s case) “a little 17-year-old.”

Which brings us to Kyle Rittenhouse himself. Any way you look at it, Rittenhouse’s story is a tragedy. It is worth stating off the bat that he did nothing wrong: Each of the shootings was a clear case of self-defense, and though it took four days the jury found as much. Judge Schroeder’s instructions to the jury on this point are worth quoting at length.

The law of self defense allows the defendant to threaten or intentionally use force against another only if he believed that there was an actual or imminent unlawful interference with his own person, and he believed that the amount of force which he used or threatened to use was necessary to prevent or terminate the interference, and his beliefs were reasonable. The defendant may intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believed that the force used was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to his own person.

A belief may be reasonable even if it is mistaken. In determining whether the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable, the standard is what a person of ordinary intelligence and prudence would have believed in the defendant’s position under the circumstances that existed at the time of the alleged offenses.

Given these instructions, there was never any ambiguity about Rittenhouse’s actions, and the mere fact that charges were brought by the state to begin with is a miscarriage of justice.

But.

I hesitate to continue at all, given the vitriol invited from corners of the right by anything but praise for Rittenhouse.

But.

The standard line from sympathetic but critical liberals like Atlantic columnist David French is that he never should have been there. This is true, actually. Kyle Rittenhouse should not have been there, because other people should have. The city’s police force should have been capable of maintaining peace on the streets. If that failed, the elected governor should have sent in the National Guard. As the last resort, private citizens should be capable of stepping up. When the maintenance of order demands the use of force, public spaces should be protected by men with guns, who know how to use them and how not to.

Kyle Rittenhouse is not that—though his actions and apparent instincts suggest he is the kind of man who, given better formative circumstances, would be. As it is, he’s a naive kid who fell in with some LARPers, who really were (in perhaps the one characterization Thomas Binger managed to get right) mostly just “wannabe soldiers acting tough.” In the Week, Samuel Goldman wrote about them at length, “marginal men to whom flames and bullets are more appealing than their chances for a quiet life … the lonely, damaged men our educational, economic, and political institutions seem to generate in large numbers.” Nobody who watches the videos of that night or has followed the progression of testimony in court can conclude in good faith that, along with these other would-be protectors, Kyle—who, for instance, made the initial, basic blunder of getting himself left alone in a hostile environment—knew what he was doing.

This points to another big-picture concern. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the same system that left Kyle Rittenhouse feeling like he had to defend his streets with a rifle also failed to prepare him to do so very competently. When society collapses because the men are all too soft to maintain order, neither those men nor the sons they’ve raised can really be expected to put it back together again.

Some are inclined to lionize Rittenhouse because he felt a noble instinct to defend his community. He tried, and he did it when others would not. This impulse is certainly laudable. But the hard truth of the matter is: If the only thing standing between you and anarchy is a lone Kyle Rittenhouse, your best option is to reach for your rosary. He got lucky once; we will not get lucky every time.

The great tragedy of Kenosha is that, in a matter of days, civilization collapsed so fully that the only people willing to stand against chaos were teenagers and twenty-somethings who barely knew how to shoot, much less how to fight, and not at all how to establish or maintain control. That is the reason people died, and the reason Kyle Rittenhouse will spend the rest of his life with the weight of having killed them: the wholesale dereliction of basic duty by an ineffectual government, and the inability of the whole society to form men as capable as they are willing to step into the breach. Once the regime finally crawled out of its bunker, with whole sections of the city turned to ash, the best it could manage was to send some effeminate mediocrity to prosecute the youngest of the LARPers for killing a pedophile and another violent criminal in ham-fisted self-defense.

Binger’s failure is deserved, and it is just. It saves Kyle Rittenhouse from a life of wrongful imprisonment. But it does not save him from what brought him here in the first place: absolute failure all the way down. The decline of Kenosha into an anarchic wasteland. The degradation of citizens to a status almost as debased as their government. Even with the smoke cleared, even with Rittenhouse acquitted, that remains. No order. No victory. No heroes. Barely men.

 

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