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Kyle Rittenhouse Essay: Live Updates


A self-defense claim like the one Kyle Rittenhouse made may depend on how reasonable the defendant’s actions were in the circumstances.

On the night of August 25, 2020, when Mr Rittenhouse shot dead three people, two of them fatally, he was with others who, like him, said they were on the streets to protect business premises.

Prosecutors used the testimonies of several of these armed people to point out how many traveled to Kenosha during this turbulent time and did not shoot anyone, while the defense argued that none of these people were at risk. Mr. Rittenhouse’s peril. Here is what five of them said in court.

Dominique black

Mr Black, now 20, dated Mr Rittenhouse’s sister and became so close to Mr Rittenhouse the year before the shooting that they called each other brothers, Mr Black said. He faces charges for providing Mr Rittenhouse with the semi-automatic rifle used in the shooting and testified at the stand that he was testifying for the prosecution in hopes of a lighter sentence.

Mr Black and Mr Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, traveled downtown together on August 25, carrying their nearly identical military-style semi-automatic rifles. Prosecutors pointed out that Mr. Black stayed on the roof of a building in one of the used car parks the two guarded because he believed it would be safer there than at the level of the street, where Mr. Rittenhouse was.

Ryan balch

A 30-year-old army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mr. Balch testified that he went to Kenosha armed with a pistol and semi-automatic rifle that he he had already shot 10,000 to 15,000 times.

Mr. Balch walked with Mr. Rittenhouse on the street on August 25 and testified that he was watching over Mr. Rittenhouse, whom he believed to be “under-equipped and under-experienced”.

At the stand, Mr Balch described the first man to be shot by Mr Rittenhouse – Joseph Rosenbaum, 36 – as “hyperaggressive” in the hours leading up to the shooting. Mr. Balch testified that he heard Mr. Rosenbaum threaten to kill him and Mr. Rittenhouse and others that night, but that he did not see Mr. Rosenbaum hurt anyone.

Jason Lackowski

A Marine Corps veteran who lives in Green Bay and knows Mr. Balch, Mr. Lackowski supported Mr Balch’s testimony that Mr Rosenbaum had been belligerent, claiming that Mr Rosenbaum dared people to shoot him in the hours leading up to his assassination.

However, Mr. Lackowski testified that he did not view Mr. Rosenbaum as a threat. “I turned my back on him and ignored him,” Lackowski said at the stand.

Immediately after the shooting, Mr Lackowski helped tie a tourniquet around the seriously injured arm of one of the men shot by Mr Rittenhouse: Gaige Grosskreutz, who survived the episode and also testified at the trial.

JoAnn Fiedler

Ms Fiedler, 56, who lives north of Milwaukee, was armed with a .380 caliber pistol and joined others guarding used car parking lots. She said she hoped her weapon would serve as a “deterrent.”

Like others, she testified that Mr. Rosenbaum threatened people in the run-up to the shooting, but she also supported accounts from witnesses who said they did not see him as a serious threat to their safety.

Nicolas smith

Mr Smith, 23, of Kenosha, testified that he had worked on used car fleets in the past and the owners asked him to assemble a team of people to keep the lots – a team that included M. Rittenhouse, M. Noir and others.

Mr Smith said Mr Rittenhouse loaned him a bulletproof vest and Mr Smith had pepper spray and a pistol that shoots pepper spray. As police pushed protesters into the parking lot area, he said, Mr Balch handed him a pistol.


nytimes Gt

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