Is Kyle Rittenhouse racist?

By Carla López, 9th Grade

Kyle Rittenhouse, an 18-year old nursing major born in Antioch, United States, has recently had a trial due to him killing two people and injuring one during a protest. More into context, he was participating in a Black Lives Matter protest when, apparently, he was in need of self-defense and started shooting. Reasons for why people are now accusing him of being racist and mad because he got free from all his charges. 

We know the background of this case but, what exactly happened? To begin, Kyle had already been seen on social media. On August 25, 2020, he posted videos of him with a gun, running away and screaming “I just killed somebody!”. He was charged 2 days later and could´ve been put into prison. 

His testimony at the scene was that the person he killed had threatened his life twice and already had had his hand on the barrel when he shot. “If I catch any of you f—ers, I’m going to f—ing kill you,”  Rittenhouse said Joseph Rosenbaum told him and one other person earlier that evening. Kyle also said he went to search for first aid after doing the damage. He continued on saying that he was trying to put out a fire protestors had done when a man came up to him with a gun. Kyle tried to run but he face-off with Joseph who had orders to kill him. He started running trying to escape when he heard a gun-shot, turned back and simply shot. Rittenhouse then said that after he shot people began to threaten him, so he began to run towards the police to turn himself in. He then shot Anthony Huber who had been stricken with a skateboard and was trying to take the gun away from him. Kyle also shot Gaige Grosskreutz, who apparently also has a gun in hands. 

Police said they thought Kyle was innocent and that’s why they let him go. He later went to Antioch where he turned himself in. When asked why he started killing people, he claimed that he was only trying to protect himself. 

Kyle had also had signals of idolizing law enforcement since he was young, joining a cadet program for at-risk youths and then posting in his social media “Blue Lives Matter” and praising Donald Trump. 

After Kyle was charged with six criminal counts that included first-degree intentional homicide, now characterized as the most serious murder charge in Winsconsin to date, he still had people defending him with the message that the killing were in act of self-defense. 

Trial

The trial took place on November 19, 2021, a year and three months after the shooting. His homicide charges could´ve taken him to a sentence of life in prison. A minor weapons charge was dropped near the end of the trial. Rittenhouse had the opportunity to tell the jury how the shooting had happened from his point of view and give his reasons for shooting three people. Talking in a neutral way, Kyle´s trial wasn´t totally fair. Dismissing charges from that gravity is almost impossible. 

Rittenhouse and Trump

Kyle Rittenhouse and Former President of the United States Donald Trump met last Tuesday. They met at Mar-a-Lago club after Kyle got absolved from his charges. “Kyle, I got to know him a little bit. He called. He wanted to know if he could come over and say hello because he was a fan, unlike the other guy,” the president told Sean Hannity at Trump’s interview with Fox News. Trump also mentioned Kyle and his mother had just left a resort in Florida belonging to him. “He should never have been put through that,” Trump said Tuesday night, referring to Rittenhouse’s trial. “That was prosecutorial misconduct.” 

Donald Trump and Kyle Rittenhouse at Mar-a-Lago Club

So, is Kyle Rittenhouse guilty? I mean he was the one who killed two people, but it was legally said it was an act in self-defense. We cannot confirm or deny if he had already planned to go to the protest and start killing people because the police shooting at Jake Blake distracted everyone. 

This case is totally controversial and everyone will have different opinions on it, but at the end of the day the legal decision was already made. 

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