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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

USA. Teenager Kyle Rittenhouse shot two protesters and was acquitted. After the sentence was pronounced, he fell to the ground in tears

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Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot dead two participants in anti-police protests in Kenosha, US Wisconsin, was acquitted by a jury on Friday. The case regarding the events of last year received a lot of publicity, generating a lot of comment and dividing the public. The decision of the jurors was commented by, among others, US President Joe Biden.

Kyle Rittenhouse has faced five counts – two counts of homicide, one of attempted murder by injuring a third person, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety during anti-police protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.

Rittenhouse killed two protesters in Kenosha. He was acquitted

On Friday night, Rittenhouse was acquitted of all five counts. After hearing the verdict, the 18-year-old fell to the floor in tears. A moment later – with a little help – he sat down in the chair.

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Kyle Rittenhouse couldn’t hold back his tearsReuters

“We’re all very happy that Kyle can live as a free and innocent man,” David Hancock, a spokesman for the Rittenhouse family, told Reuters. – But there are no winners in this whole situation. There are two people who lost their lives and it is not without significance – he added.

The verdict was taken after four days of jurors’ deliberations.

After the sentence was pronounced, he slumped to the groundReuters

The Rittenhouse ruling ended the most famous civil self-defense case in the US since George Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 on the fatal shooting in Florida of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

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Joe Biden agrees with the jurors and calls for a non-violent expression of views

The jury’s decision was commented on by US President Joe Biden. “I stand by what the jury said,” he told reporters. – The juror system is working. We must obey it – he added.

The President of the United States also made a statement on the matter. “While the Kenosha verdict will leave many Americans angry and concerned, including me, we must admit that the jury has spoken. I made a promise to unite Americans because I believe that what we have in common is so much greater than what separates us. I know that we will not heal our country’s wounds overnight, but I firmly believe that I will do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally, fairly and with dignity in accordance with the law, “he wrote.

He also called for the peaceful and lawful expression of his views. “There is no place in our democracy for violence and property damage,” said Biden.

He added that he had spoken to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to offer support and all necessary assistance to ensure public safety.

Kyle Rittenhouse’s controversial trial

The trial of the defendant, which had been going on for over a week, was all the time one of the main topics in the American media and it caused great emotions. The case concerned the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots last year, which erupted in response to the police shooting of black Jacob Blake shortly after the murder of George Floyd.

Kyle Rittenhouse on trialReuters

Kyle Rittenhouse couldn’t hold back his tearsReuters

17-year-old Rittenhouse, who lives in the neighboring state of Illinois, went to the site with an AR-15 rifle, wanting – as he later explained – to defend local entrepreneurs against rioters. The video evidence presented during the trial showed that when Rittenhouse aimed the rifle at a group of protesters, they began to chase him. When one of them, Joseph Rosenbaum, was close, the 17-year-old fired three shots, killing him. In subsequent clashes, he killed another man and wounded another.

The teenager’s defense attorneys – and he himself, as a witness – argued that he was acting in self-defense, fearing that the attackers would take his gun and kill him. Prosecutors argued that if someone initiates this kind of dangerous situation by pointing a gun at an unarmed person, he has no right to invoke the principle of self-defense.

The Rittenhouse trial was watched intensively by American TV stations and caused a lot of extreme excitement. Liberal commentators and politicians accused the judge conducting the trial of partiality and demanded the sentencing of the teenager, while some right-wing politicians praised his attitude. Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries called to “lock up Rittenhouse and throw away the key,” and Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz publicly offered him an internship in his office.

Supporters of both sides also demonstrated in the Kenosha court in recent days. Clashes took place there on Wednesday, two people were detained. The court then strengthened its security measures. On Friday, several dozen protesters lined up on the steps in front of the courthouse. Some had posters with them expressing support for Rittenhouse, others expressed disappointment with the verdict.

Demonstration in court following the acquittal of Kyle RittenhousePAP / EPA / TANNEN MAURY

Main photo source: Reuters



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