Expert Argues Rittenhouse Was Justified

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, Pool

Kyle Rittenhouse faces murder charges for his shooting of three people, two fatally. The moment he pulled that trigger the first time, life as he knew it was over. During the racially charged riots in Kenosha, WI, no one was going to let a right-leaning figure off the hook no matter how justified he was.

They were going to charge him, if for no other reason than to prevent further rioting.

Yet the question of whether or not he acted in self-defense or not is a question the jury will have to consider. Frankly, from everything I’ve seen, there’s no doubt that he acted in self-defense. You could make whatever argument you want about him being armed or even being there, but that has no impact on whether or not he acted to protect his own life.

But I’m not exactly someone the courts are going to ask about it.

I’m not alone in my assessment, though.

An Antioch man who shot three people during a protest over police brutality in Wisconsin last year was justified because the men confronted him and two of them tried to wrestle his gun away, a use-of-force expert called by the defense testified at a pretrial hearing Tuesday.

The expert, John Black, spent hours outlining the moments that led to Kyle Rittenhouse’s decisions to shoot Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz, offering a preview of the defense team’s strategy when Rittenhouse’s trial begins next month. Black testified that video shows Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse and reaching for the teenager’s gun, Huber attacking Rittenhouse with a skateboard and trying to wrestle away his gun, and Grosskreutz running at him with a pistol in his hand.

“A citizen in that position, given those indicators, would it be reasonable for them to believe they were about to be assaulted?” Black said. “I would argue yes.”

Rittenhouse’s lead attorney, Mark Richards, is trying to persuade Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder to let Black testify at the trial. Schroeder allowed Black to speak at the hearing via Zoom in hopes that would help him make a decision.

Black testified that he studied bystander video of the three shootings extensively. He noted that Rosenbaum was chasing Rittenhouse and threw a plastic bag at him before reaching for Rittenhouse’s rifle.

“Now the firearm is a potential weapon for both parties,” Black said. “Now we have a potential wrestling match.”

A moment later Huber hit Rittenhouse in the neck with a skateboard and tried to grab Rittenhouse’s rifle, prompting Rittenhouse to shoot him, Black said. Grosskreutz approached with his hands raised in an “I surrender” motion but he had a handgun in his right hand. He backed up before he stepped forward and lowered the pistol. Rittenhouse then shot him in the arm.

Honestly, it’s very clear that what we’re dealing with is a case of a young man having to decide between his life and the life of another. Any sensible person would agree that Rittenhouse acted appropriately if the politics surrounding the situation were different.

Unfortunately for him, though, they’re not.

As a result, Rittenhouse will have to wage a legal battle to clear his name, but even after that, expect his life to be over. After all, activists won’t let George Zimmerman move on with his life, reportedly hounding him out of any job he gets. I suspect Rittenhouse will end up in the same boat, likely finding getting into college more of an issue than it should be (if that’s a goal for him, obviously).

Kyle Rittenhouse did what he had to do that night to protect his life. I’m sorry it’s so difficult for some people to grasp that simple fact, but it’s the truth.

And, frankly, he did a rather impressive job of it.

Let’s hope that Black is allowed to testify on Rittenhouse’s behalf and that the jury listens to him so the young man can try and move on with his life.