Court Battles

Prosecutor says Rittenhouse was ‘drawn to the chaos’ in Kenosha

A prosecutor on Tuesday said Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who fatally shot two Black Lives Matter protesters last year in Kenosha, Wisc., was “drawn to the chaos” in the city.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, during his opening statement to the 20-person jury, likened tourists flocking to Kenosha to “moths to a flame.”

“One of things we all agreed on yesterday is life is more important than property… Like moths to a flame, tourists from outside our of community were drawn to the chaos here in Kenosha. People from outside of Kenosha came in and contributed to that chaos and it caused many of our citizens to fear for their safety,” Binger said, according to NBC News.

He noted, however, that out of the hundreds of individuals who traveled to the city, Rittenhouse was responsible for the only deaths there.

“But out of the hundreds of people that came to Kenosha during that week, the hundreds of people that were out on the streets that week, the evidence will show that the only person that killed anyone was the defendant, Kyle Rittenhouse,” Binger said.

The assistant district attorney’s comments came on the second day in the trial of Rittenhouse, who traveled over state lines from Illinois to Kenosha in August 2020 armed with an AR-15-style rifle while Black Lives Matter protests were taking place. He has said he made the trip to Wisconsin to help business owners who were asking for protection for their property, and to assist individuals who were hurt amid the demonstrations.

Demonstrators in Kenosha were protesting in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was struck by a white police officer two days before Rittenhouse opened fire.

Rittenhouse, who was 17-years-old at the time, fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz.

The teenager is now facing two homicide charges, one attempted homicide charge, two charges of recklessly endangering safety and one charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.

Defense lawyer Mark Richards said Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense, and therefore justified in his actions.

“He acted in self-defense, ladies and gentlemen… The evidence will show his actions on Aug. 25 of 2020 were reasonable under the circumstances as they existed,” Richard said, according to NBC News.

The defense is planning to argue that Rittenhouse was being chased by Rosenbaum, according to NBC News, but the prosecution will reportedly contend that Rittenhouse started the conflict.

The 20 jurors — 11 of whom are women and nine men — were seated on Monday. Twelve of them will be chosen for deliberations, with the remaining serving as alternates.

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