9 takeaways from Kyle Rittenhouse’s court closure

Madison, Wisconsin (AP) – Lawyers for the Kyle Rittenhouse murder last sparred on Monday during the closing debate.prosecutors portray Rittenhouse as an inexperienced instigator, while defense lawyers insist that the Illinois man was fired in self-defense.

Rittenhouse shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gyge Grosskreutz during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020. He declared self-defense while prosecutors claimed he was an inexperienced teenager who provoked the violence by showing up with a rifle.

Here are some takeaways from the closure of the case by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger and defense attorney Mark Richards:


Binger called Rittenhouse a fraud. He said that Rittenhouse told people at the protest that he was an emergency medical technician when in reality he was just a lifeguard.

“This is an emergency,” Binger said. “Everyone expects violence. Everyone is ready for the fact that people will be injured, injured, wounded. And yet the defendant is going to go there and take a walk, claiming that he is a medic. He looks like a quack doctor who practices without a license, putting his life in danger. … … He bandaged his ankle, and I think maybe he helped someone who cut their hand. Yeah. On the other hand, he killed two people, tore off Gaige Grosskreutz’s hand. “

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Binger also portrayed Rittenhouse as an active shooter and said that people in the crowd had the right to stop him. He said that Rittenhouse denied shooting Rosenbaum when Grosskreutz and another man, Jason Lackowski, asked him what happened immediately after the shots were fired.

“The crowd sees the accused running with a pistol. He lies to them. He still has a gun, ”Binger said. “It is perfectly reasonable for this crowd to believe at that moment that he poses a threat to kill again. I affirm, ladies and gentlemen, that in this situation the crowd has the right to try to stop the active shooter. They have the right to defend themselves. The defendant is not the only one in the world who has the right to self-defense. “

Richards said it was bullshit to call Rittenhouse an active shooter, and if he didn’t know, he would have thought Binger was a “whiny lawyer.”

“Everyone who got shot attacked Kyle: one with a skateboard, one with his hands, one with his feet, one with a gun,” Richards said. “My client does not have to be beaten at the hands of this crowd or at the hands of Mr. Rosenbaum.”


Binger tried to convince the jury to see Rittenhouse, who lived in nearby Antioch, Illinois, as one of a crowd of outsiders who came to Kenosha to play a soldier during the protest, ignoring roadblocks, curfew orders and closed interstate exits.

“These AR-15 guys are just wannabe soldiers getting tough trying to create some kind of personal connection to this event by promoting their own personal agenda — just a small fraction of the chaos tourist stream we’ve seen here at Kenosha trying to feed. about what we went through, despite everything we did to try to tell them, go away, stay away. “

Richards objected that Rittenhouse came to town to help, noting that he helped clean up graffiti in high school before the shooting.

“Kyle empathizes with this community,” he said.


Binger focused primarily on Rosenbaum’s actions, trying to refute Rittenbaum’s claims that Rosenbaum was causing problems. all night swinging a chain, demanding that people shoot him, spewing racial insults and setting him on fire. Binger described Rosenbaum as a small man – he was 5 feet 4 – with a “Napoleon complex,” but he was harmless.

“Oh, let me tell you about all the terrible things that Joseph Rosenbaum did,” the attorney said. “He knocked over a pot of port that was empty. He swung the chain. He lit it. … … Garbage container on fire. … … Oh, and he said some bad words. He said the N-word. If he was alive today. … … I would probably try to bring him to justice for arson. But I can’t, because the accused killed him. But this is exactly what we do to people who do this. When you commit arson, we prosecute you. We will not execute you on the street. “

Richards called Rosenbaum “irrational and crazy” and said he chased Rittenhouse until he cornered him. According to Richards, if Rosenbaum took the Rittenhouse pistol from him, he would have shot the others.

“Mister. Rosenbaum made the fatal mistake that day by driving Kyle Rittenhouse into a corner,” Richards said. “He ran as far as he could and shot four times in three quarters of a second. I’m glad (Rittenhouse) shot him because that if Joseph Rosenbaum had received this pistol, I don’t believe for a moment that he would not have used it against anyone else … Mr. Rosenbaum was obsessed with creating trouble that night. “


Binger concluded his argument by asking the jury to ask themselves if they would have responded like Rittenhouse in the same situation.

“Would a reasonable person do the same?” Binger said. “Would you behave like the reckless act that led to this development of events? Would you go out after curfew with the AR-15 looking for trouble? Would you target other people? Would you try to use a pistol to protect an empty car park? No reasonable person would do this. “


Richards focused on Grosskreutz’s testimony. that he didn’t know his own pistol had a cartridge in its chamber when he ran up to Rittenhouse. Grosskreutz filed a lawsuit against the city of Kenosha, alleging that the police colluded with armed militias on the night he was shot; he is looking for $ 10 million.

“Grosskreutz won’t say anything to make him look bad,” Richards said. “Grosskreutz is a man with 10 million reasons to lie.”


Richards argued that state witnesses did indeed help the Rittenhouse case, pointing out that the police detective seemed to agree that Rosenbaum had come out of hiding to pursue Rittenhouse; a forensic pathologist testified that Rittenhouse had fired at Rosenbaum at close range, within 4 feet, supporting the defense’s argument that Rosenbaum had reached for Rittenhouse’s rifle; and others in the Rittenhouse group testified that they had permission to guard the car dealership.

One member of Rittenhouse’s team, Joanne Fiedler, testified that she had never seen Rittenhouse act inappropriately towards anyone, Richards told the jury.


Richards criticized the prosecution’s use of enlarged photography taken from a video from a drone which, according to a state forensic laboratory analyst, took him 20 hours to create. Prosecutors said the enlarged image of Rittenhouse pointing a gun at protesters, which they said triggered a series of events in which Rittenhouse killed two people and wounded a third.

“What he did during those 20 hours was a hocus pocus,” Richards said, urging the jury to disregard the image. “And he makes the exhibit out of focus.”

It took the analyst 20 hours to process the entire video, not just the zoomed image, prosecutors said.


Richards said Binger’s office never reviewed their case after video evidence showed Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. He said that the prosecutor’s office wants to prosecute someone who led to the “terror” on the streets of Kenosha.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a political case. … … but the district attorney’s office is moving forward on this case because they need someone to be held accountable. They need someone. … … let’s say he did it, he is the man who terrified Kenosha. Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t that special. “


Associated Press contributors Amy Forliti of Minneapolis and Scott Bauer of Madison contributed to this report.


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