The Curious Case of Kyle Rittenhouse


Hey SoCal

Image of a court hearing.

It has always been challenging to see the clear difference between assault and self-defense, and the line between them is very blurred. If someone punches another and shoots them back, is that unnecessary violence or self-defense? Well, about a year and a half ago, a scenario like this unfolded between a “Kyle Rittenhouse” and three other men who attacked him at a police brutality rally. The only problem with his trial is that a lot of people seem to believe Kyle is guilty and deserves up to 60 years in jail, while another smaller group believes that Kyle may not deserve his punishment. Whatever is believed, the court case that Kyle had to go through was certainly VERY interesting. 

However, the devil is in the details, so that is what will be covered first. According to the law firm Kyle hired, the story goes like this: Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year old bodyguard, was under attack by a group of looters and raiders fighting against police brutality. This chain of events began when Kyle was given the order to protect a car repair business. During the 8 pm curfew, the police had tried to take down and disperse any riot groups. However, they were not perfect, and many groups still roamed the streets, destroying property. As the rioters passed him, they started to taunt, bully, and verbally abuse Kyle, and upon hearing a gunshot in the air behind him, Kyle turned and saw a man named Joseph Rosenbraum diving into him, trying to grab his gun. Not thinking, Kyle pulled his most primitive instincts on the man and shot him. Immediately, Rittenhouse dropped to the ground and tried to heal the man’s wounds, along with trying to get the attention of the police, until he was struck in the head and shoulders by two men. One of them ended up being injured by Kyle, and the other was fatally shot in the chest. Rittenhouse turned himself in afterward and is now currently on trial.

There is still a lot of debate about what truly happened with Kyle. Some believe that he didn’t actually try to save Joseph, or it wasn’t self-defense, or that the entire situation was made to sound like Kyle was getting more abused than he actually was. Whatever the case, Kyle still was unlawfully owning a gun. However, Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial was far from boring, either. In fact, it is one of the most interesting trials that has ever been seen.

Kyle’s trial is like a fever dream, where things just keep getting weirder the further you go in. Firstly, Kyle himself was allowed to pick the Jurors who would decide his fate by drawing names out of a hat! This was a decision made by Bruce Schroeder, the oldest serving judge in Wisconsin, who is known for his interesting decisions. Two examples were when he made somewhat openly racist statements on trial and asked for applause for veterans on Veterans Day from the Jury. The Jury for the case only took one day to be picked, as compared to ordinarily multiple days or sometimes even weeks to normally pick Jurors! But it gets EVEN CRAZIER! While waiting for the stragglers to show up, the Judge, Bruce, decided to play a game of Jeopardy! with the Jurors, allegedly saying that it “would put them at ease for the trial.” Along with comments about “Violent Video Games” affecting Kyle Rittenhouse’s decisions, and a lot of screaming in the courthouse, the entire situation was incredibly weird and interesting.

The final verdict was released very recently, as of November 19th, 2021, and Kyle was found not guilty on all charges. The Jurors considered it to be self-defense, and Kyle definitely escaped this with the skin of his teeth. While the situation should have definitely been handled differently, seeing that Kyle acted impulsively, our brains like to freeze in stressful situations, and it can’t be said that the rioter wouldn’t have killed Kyle. Let’s just pray that Kyle doesn’t get himself into trouble again.