His defense team argued that he was acting in self-defense. The jury bought it, which will have consequences for the rest of us.
On Friday, after four days of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse: It decided the teenager was not guilty of the murders of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and the maiming of Gaige Grosskreutz, or of any of the lesser charges stemming from last year’s massacre during an anti-racist protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
As the prosecution’s closing presentation made clear, the verdict will prove a devastating blow for the notion of crowd safety in a culture awash in guns and would-be vigilantes.
The agreed-upon definition of active shooter by US government agencies (including the White House, US Department of Justice, FBI, US Department of Education, US Department of Homeland Security, and Federal Emergency Management Agency) is “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a conﬁned and populated area.” In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
Rittenhouse shot and murdered Joseph Rosenbaum and murdered Anthony Huber as Anthony Huber was trying to stop an active shooter. Rittenhouse also shot Gaige Grosskreutz, a protest medic whose right arm was torn apart by a shot fired from point-blank range as he advanced on the teen gunman to stop an active shooter.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, is accused of murdering first Joseph Rosenbaum, a volatile presence at the protest who chased the heavily armed teen for reasons that remain unclear, and then Anthony Huber, one of three protesters who tried to disarm the gunman as he fled the scene.