Kenosha police shot Jacob Blake seven times on August 23, 2020, sparking massive unrest in the Wisconsin city. After riots and looting downtown, including a withdrawal of police protection, Kyle Rittenhouse said he went to the city streets two days later to protect private property, armed with an AR-15 type rifle. Then seventeen years old, Rittenhouse shot three men, killing two, and he will spend the rest of his life in a Wisconsin prison if the progressive DA in Kenosha, Wisconsin has his way. That would be some trick, chiefly because the publicly available evidence, especially the numerous videos, show Mr. Rittenhouse shot only at those who were in the act of attacking him.
Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum first. Mr. Rosenbaum was chasing after Rittenhouse, had thrown something at him, and grabbed for his rifle. According to statements from the defendant’s defense team, Rosenbaum sought out and targeted Rittenhouse because he thought the young man prevented him from committing arson earlier in the day. Unbeknownst to Rittenhouse, at the time, Rosenbaum was homeless and released that very day from an involuntary commitment to a mental hospital following his second suicide attempt in as many months. Mr. Rosenbaum was a convicted sex offender who spent most of his adult life in prison for abusing five pre-teen boys.
After he shot Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse ran, attempting to find the police. He was pursued by numerous people, and according to the criminal complaint prepared by the state of Wisconsin:
“A person can be heard yelling what sounds like, ‘Beat him up!” and “a person can be heard yelling, ‘Get him! Get that dude!’ Then a male in a light-colored top runs towards the defendant and appears to swing at the defendant with his right arm.”
Perhaps if Kyle Rittenhouse kept his footing, Misters Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz would still be alive. Rittenhouse tripped and was drop-kicked right away by a man who is still unknown. He killed Huber and Grosskreutz while still on the ground when they set upon him and tried to disarm him.
Citizen’s Arrest or Assault?
Mr. Anthony Huber was shot seconds after using his skateboard to attack Rittenhouse, hitting him in the head and then grabbing the rifle. Was Huber a hero attempting to “arrest” Rittenhouse as his supporters claim, or a member of the mob, set on “getting” Kyle for not being a BLM sympathizer, who shot one of theirs? It’s hard to know for sure. Fortunately, we don’t need to know. In all 50 states, a person may use deadly force if they reasonably fear death or serious bodily harm from an attacker. Taking a skateboard bash to the head certainly qualifies.
As for Gaige Grosskreutz, he set out to chase Rittenhouse after being told directly by Rittenhouse, “I am going to get the police.” He should have let him. Grosskreutz ran up on Rittenhouse with a pistol in his hand, and when he moved to point it at Rittenhouse, the latter shot Grosskreutz in the arm. Mr. Grosskreutz now hopes to profit from his misfortune, suing the Kenosha police on a theory that they conspired with armed citizens like Rittenhouse to deprive protestors of their Constitutional rights.
Why is Rittenhouse being prosecuted if he acted in self-defense? Because progressive Kenosha District Attorney Mike Gravely disagrees. What do we know about him? The local Kenosha News says, “Outside of court, local attorneys said, Graveley is politically savvy and carefully considers public opinion in the way he presents himself.” And, “When I became the DA, I really committed myself to having a lot of complicated and rewarding conversations about the criminal justice system and racial justice,” Graveley said. “I have really valued that and had a number of those conversations. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort on that.”
Liberal Prosecutors & A Different Justice
Mr. Gravely has his deputy, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, doing the courtroom work. Mr. Binger has, against the instructions and orders from the judge, poured political gas on the fire of the case. His antics include trying to tie Rittenhouse to the Proud Boys at trial, though no evidence exists the defendant had even heard of the group in August of 2020. For those with a cynic’s sense of humor, the trial has had quite a few delicious moments, and this was certainly one. Another was Binger’s failed attempt to argue in court that arson was a minor crime, like a noise violation, when committed by Mr. Rosenbaum. The Kenosha arsonists will surely clamor to have Mr. Binger prosecuting their cases after that performance.
Fortunately for Mr. Rittenhouse, he did not get a progressive Judge. Kenosha County Circuit Court Bruce Schroeder may save Rittenhouse’s life; not because he’s pro-Rittenhouse, but because he seems unwilling to sacrifice the young man for the sake of political expediency. Schroeder was appointed in 1983 by Governor Anthony Earl, a Democrat. He has been re-elected to the seat ever since, making him the longest-serving active circuit judge in the state. His current term expires in 2026. Schroeder made his intransigence on succumbing to the politics of the day abundantly clear when addressing Gaige Grosskreutz’s civil attorney, Kimberly Cy Motley. She learned the hard way during a pre-trial hearing that she’ll have to keep her race-baiting to cable news shows or other courtrooms.
Ms. Motley had weighed in with claims a recent defendant in the county’s courts was ordered to pay $2.5 million bail, so Kyle Rittenhouse’s $2 million bail was too low. The suggestion that one defendant’s bail should be raised because a different defendant in a different court, on entirely unrelated charges, had higher bail is preposterous. That the judge should do so based on the race of the other, unrelated defendant is so far beyond the pale, it’s surprising Motley said it out loud.
Ms. Motley, the former assistant public defender, fashions herself an international human rights lawyer concerned with the rights of the accused. Here, she was actively advocating for the judge to violate Rittenhouse’s constitutional rights. Judge Schroeder was having none of it. He said, “I will tell you that I am not going to decide anything in this case or any other on the basis of the color of anybody’s skin.” Then the judge went into a full-on impromptu pocket lecture about race in the U.S. legal system. After discussing cases Plessy vs. Ferguson and Dred Scott leading to the Civil War, he said this about the bail ruling Mr. Binger and Ms. Motley argued for:
“I don’t think that would be lawful no matter what feelings anybody has. I took an oath to uphold the constitution and follow the laws, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Judge Schraeder caught a mountain of critical press because he ordered the prosecution not to refer to Messers. Rosenbaum, Huber, or Grosskreutz, as victims. His reason is that those persons’ status as victims is not yet determined – it’s what the trial is for. Still, that could be evidence of some pro-Rittenhouse bias if the judge didn’t do it in every case in his court, which he does – a fact omitted by almost all legacy media reports denouncing Schroeder. Looking at the criminal docket, one does not need to wonder if his policy more often helps teenage white kids embraced by well-funded pro-Trump gun carriers or poor blacks with public defenders. That doesn’t fit the narrative, however. Hopefully, Judge Schroeder continues to uphold his oath and not succumb to racialized justice.
~ Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.