Are they there to lend support to Kyle Rittenhouse, or to get some face time in front of the cameras? The St. Louis attorneys who became famous for displaying their own firearms outside of their palatial home last summer as hordes of protesters marched through their gated community on the way to then-Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home were seen in Kenosha on Monday, with Mark McCloskey telling reporters he and his wife Patricia were just there to “take in the verdict,” adding that “we think he acted in self-defense, we think he’s been politically prosecuted, as were we.”
Mark McCloskey, a personal injury lawyer who recently launched a bid for the U.S. Senate, told Fox News in Kenosha that he thought it was a “wise idea” to attend the Rittenhouse trial.
“He’s a young man, he was doing the best he could to help his country,” he said. “As his reward, he’s having the rest of his life threatened.”
McCloskey told Fox News that he didn’t want their presence to be a “distraction,” so he and his wife are staying away from the courthouse where jurors are deliberating whether or not Rittenhouse acted in self-defense on the night of August 25th, 2020 when he shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, as well as shooting and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz.
While I’m sure that Mark McCloskey is not adverse to the publicity (he is running for U.S. Senate in Missouri, after all), I’ll give him a little bit of credit for recognizing that he’d be adding another ring to the media circus by showing up at the Kenosha County Courthouse while the trial was still underway. There are already demonstrators supporting Rittenhouse on the scene, along with counter-demonstrators who won’t be satisfied unless the teenager is convicted of murder.
“Black Lives Matter!” one group shouted.
“Self-defense is not a crime!” the other responded.
The dueling chants crystallize what the trial has come to represent for the millions of people watching the case in Wisconsin and across America. To some, it’s a case of a gun-wielding teenager who responded to racial unrest by taking justice into his own hands and shooting three anti-racist protesters – two fatally. To others, Rittenhouse used his weapon in self-defense after he was attacked by members of a violent crowd.
… Kristan T Harris, an independent citizen-journalist whose footage of last year’s deadly protest was used as evidence at Rittenhouse’s trial, said as he left the courthouse on Monday that regardless of the verdict he did not expect to see anything like the scenes he witnessed filming the protests that played out in August 2020.
“How many people want to go out and protest in 30-degree weather?” he said. “There might be demonstrations, but I don’t think they will be as big. People are back to work. Last year, everyone was furloughed.”
I suspect that Harris is right, but we’ve also seen a much more robust response from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers compared to his actions last August. The governor has already put 500 National Guard members on standby, which is twice as many as were on hand the night of August 25th. It wasn’t until August 26th, the day after the shootings, that 500 National Guard members were in the city. That number would expand to more than 2,000 Guard members from three different states by August 28th of last year, even though much of the violent protests had subsided by that time.
Maybe Evers learned his lesson and wants to be more proactive this time around, or maybe his political calculations have changed. The governor is up for re-election next year, and unless Evers is an absolute moron, he understands well that while he might have thought it was a politically savvy move to take a light-handed approach to the mob violence last summer, the electorate isn’t in the mood to coddle rioters and looters these days. Just ask Mark McCloskey, who’s hoping to ride his own story of standing up to the mob all the way to Washington, D.C… with a brief pit stop in Kenosha.