Kyle Rittenhouse is a free man. The verdict came in and he was found not guilty. He’d defended himself from a mob and is free to tell the tale.
To anyone who looked at the video, we know it was the right call. However, a lot of people claim the video shows entirely different stuff, so the verdict could well have gone the other way.
Now that he’s out, he’s making some media rounds. Not a ton, but some.
Monday night, he sat down with Tucker Carlson.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Kyle Rittenhouse spoke out about the night of the Kenosha riots that led to his arrest, as well as his eventual acquittal by jury and the angry reaction of the mainstream media and Democrats including President Biden.
Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted in the shooting deaths of two men, Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, as well as the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, whom he shot through the right bicep after the protester pointed a pistol at him.
Rittenhouse told Carlson that he was staying at the home of a friend during the Kenosha riots and was mystified and troubled by the lack of resources provided to the police force in trying to quell the violence after the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Guess he didn’t cross state lines, huh?
Since the shooting happened, a lot of people have had a lot to say about Rittenhouse. They’ve infused their own ideologies onto the young man. But what does he actually think?
The now-acquitted man went on to say that he is not inherently political, and that “opportunists” took advantage of him.
“I agree with the BLM movement. I agree everybody has a right to protest and assemble — but I do not agree that people have the right to burn down… American cities to try to spread their message,” he said. “I think there are other ways to go around and do that.”
Some in BLM are less than thrilled to hear that and want nothing to do with him, but while I disagree with him about BLM as a movement, he’s certainly right about the rest.
However, what about being taken advantage of?
Rittenhouse also criticized his initial counsel, high-profile attorney L. Lincoln Wood and co-counsel John Pierce, who he said took advantage of him and were at times incompetent.
“I was in jail for 87 days. Lin Wood was raising money on my behalf, and he held me in jail for 87 days – disrespected my wishes, put me on media interviews which I should never have done … along with John Pierce; they said I was safer in jail instead of at home with my family.”
Not a good look for Lin Wood.
Rittenhouse also objected to Pierce referring to him as part of the “unorganized militia,” saying he didn’t even know what a militia was–a commentary on the failures of our educational system if ever I heard one–but here Rittenhouse isn’t entirely correct. Rittenhouse and all other males between the ages of 17 and 45, which includes Rittenhouse.
However, that also had nothing to do with Kenosha, which is really where I think Rittenhouse’s objections lie, and on that, he’s not wrong.
The idea that Rittenhouse was told he was safer in jail is something that’s going to be problematic. It may not actually be wrong, though. A lot of people wanted the young man dead and it was likely easier to protect him in jail than at home.
That said, no one wants to be in jail any longer than they have to be. To tell someone they need to stay there for almost three months is downright torturous.
He’s got a reason to be upset.
For Rittenhouse, though, the trial was about more than his guilt or innocence.
“It was the right to self-defense on trial. If I was convicted, no one would ever be privileged to defend their life against attackers,” he said. “Apparently to many people on the left, it is criminal to protect your community.”
A lot of people have been saying this, but I’m not so sure that’s accurate. Yes, the right to self-defense was ultimately what the trial was about, but had he lost, it wouldn’t have negated self-defense as a concept. It would likely have made it more tenuous to claim self-defense, particularly in Kenosha, but it wouldn’t have gone away entirely even there.
And in a lot of places, nothing would have changed. I doubt self-defense claims in Texas were going to end up invalidated simply because of what happened in Wisconsin.
That said, it’s still important that the right to self-defense be preserved in every instance that it’s used. Chip away at it enough and it’ll cease to have any meaning. While a conviction for Rittenhouse wouldn’t have done that all on its own, it would have still made an impact.
Now that the criminal trial is over, it appears it’s time for Rittenhouse to look at those who have defamed him. A large number of people called him a murderer among other horrible things. Some are still saying it. From Hollywood stars to the president himself, he’s been called all sorts of things, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the lawsuits start to drop any time now.
Which is probably a good thing because there’s no way his critics will let Rittenhouse live a normal life.