Kenosha shooter’s b.s. self-defense argument

The Daily Mail reported on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 (read story here):

“Attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse have released new footage of the shootings he carried out during protests and riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, arguing that they demonstrate a clear-cut case of self-defense. … In a slickly produced 11-minute video released by Wood’s #FightBack Foundation, the defense team argues that other shots were fired before and after the first fatal shooting, which killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum. …

“The video shows Rittenhouse running into a parking lot, followed by Rosenbaum and journalist Richard McGinniss, who was filming the chase on his cellphone. ‘Directly in front of Rittenhouse, armed with bats and other weapons, a mob is forming a barricade,’ according to the voiceover on the video released by Wood.

“As Rittenhouse fled, a single gunshot rang out nearby, with the muzzle flash captured on video. It’s unclear who fired the gun. Rittenhouse then turns around to face Rosenbaum, and according to McGinniss, opened fire as Rosenbaum lunged at his rifle. According to Rittenhouse’s attorneys, he fired four times. The video captures three additional shots of unknown origin immediately after Rittnehouse fired.”

First of all, I guarantee you that video will never be played in court to a jury. Do I need to explain why? Nah. It’s strictly for public relations and fundraising.

Based on the above narrative, i.e. the defense attorney’s version of events, Rittenhouse ran toward a “mob armed with bats and other weapons.” Did that mean he could open fire? No, it didn’t. He couldn’t shoot them for having “bats and other weapons” any more than they could shoot him for having an AR-15 (and, by the way, which is more lethal and threatening?).

Somebody fired a shot. Does that mean the shot was fired at Rittenhouse? No. But let’s say it was. Would that mean he could shoot back in self-defense? Let’s say yes, for now. Was Rosenbaum the person who fired the shot? No. Could Rittenhouse shoot Rosenbaum because someone else fired a shot, whether or not it was aimed at him? No. Now let’s fast-forward to the shots fired after Rittenhouse killed Rosenbaum. We don’t know if those shots were fired at Rittenhouse in retaliation for shooting Rosenbaum, but let’s assume they were, for now. Does that justify him shooting Rosenbaum ex poste facto? No.

All the defense attorney has to work with is Rosenbaum reaching for Rittenhouse’s gun barrel. Rosenbaum may have been merely trying to push it away so the gun wasn’t pointed at him. But let’s say he was trying to take the gun away from Rittenhouse. In fact, all three of the people Rittenhouse shot may have been trying to disarm him; the other two clearly were. Does that make it self-defense? You’ve gotta be kidding.

You can’t kill someone for trying to take a gun away from a trigger-happy, hyped-up teenager who isn’t legally allowed to have it in the first place. Also noteworthy is that none of the other armed vigilantes on the scene felt threatened enough to defend themselves from the same protesters Rittenhouse shot up.

I’m not saying Rittenhouse has a lousy attorney. His attorney was dealt a lousy hand to play, that’s all. I’m not saying he won’t get off. I didn’t think the Malheur terrorists would get off. Juries are unpredictable.

The cutline to the photo below in the Daily Mail reads, “Videos also show a dispute between Joseph Rosenbaum (right in red shirt) and men guarding a nearby gas station prior to the shooting.” Do you see a weapon on him? Me neither. If you shoot someone in self-defense, they’d better have either a gun or a knife on them, or you’d better get a friendly corrupt cop plant one on the body. Rittenhouse has neither of those “defenses” going for him.

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  1. Mark Adams #

    So the defense attorneys are doing their job for their client. They would like the prosecutor to agree it is self defense and drop charges or not bring charges. Of course the video will be shown at trial if it goes that far.

    At some point they will ask in court for their client to be tried as a juvenile, probably followed by an appeal.

    The prosecution is going to have to work. and the defense may well get a hung jury, which could be a win, only the prosecution can do a do over.

    This case along with many others may not go the way protestors want.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    I guess I need to explain after all why the video won’t be admitted in court. It’s not evidence. It’s not under oath. It can’t be cross-examined. It’s not a recognized form of legal argument. You would look less ignorant if you limited your wishful thinking to what a capricious jury might do. Anyone can speculate whatever they like about that. But the rules of evidence? No, that’s not amenable to fantasizing.

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