Monday, November 29, 2021

Explainer: prosecutors play down Rittenhouse inexperience

Madison, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors trying to convict Kyle Rittenhouse of murder are working to portray him as an inexperienced teen who misjudged his age and medical training to other armed civilians in his group at night. In a manner presented, he shot three people during a protest. Against police brutality in Wisconsin last year.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger has testified from several witnesses, including two military veterans, during the first week of Rittenhouse’s trial, stating that the Illinois teen, who appeared inexperienced, falsely claimed he was old enough to own a gun. And he was a certified medic when he was really just a lifeguard.

Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor and attorney in Chicago who is not involved in the case, said that Binger is trying to show jurors that Rittenhouse didn’t know what he was doing and that they should be allowed to make his self-defense claims. should not be believed.

Turner said, “The way he reacted, he wanted to show it in the context that he is young and not experienced, and to understand (protest) as a more dangerous situation (compared to an older person). would be more likely.” “A little boy is going to think this guy is going to hurt me when in fact that’s not true.”

Rittenhouse brings a semi-automatic rifle to a protest in Kenosha in August 2020. The city on the Wisconsin-Illinois border was in the grip of several nights of chaotic demonstrations. A white police officer shoots Jacob Blake, a black man who was resisting arrest during a domestic dispute. Rittenhouse was 17 at the time and said he had gone to Kenosha to protect the city’s businesses from robbers.

Just before midnight, he shot Joseph Rosenbaum, killing him, when Rosenbaum chased him into a parking lot. bystander video Shows the crowd chasing Rittenhouse down the street. Within seconds an unknown man tried to kick him in the head, Anthony Huber hit him in the head with a skateboard and Gege Groskretz attacked him with a pistol. Rittenhouse fired at the man who kicked him but missed, shooting and killing Huber and wounding Grosskretz in the arm.

Prosecutors have brought multiple charges against Rittenhouse, including murder and being a minor in possession of a firearm. Rittenhouse has argued that he shot the men in self-defense. This means that his lawyers must convince jurors that they believe their lives are in danger and that the amount of force they used was justified. Binger says Rittenhouse was aggressive and overtook the situation.

Ryan Balch, a former US Army soldier who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, testified Thursday that he traveled to Kenosha on the night of the shooting armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol to help protect businesses, and that There he met Rittenhouse.

Balch later told FBI investigators that Rittenhouse was very interested in him and his military deployment. He said Rittenhouse told him he was 19 and a certified emergency medical technician; He was actually a lifeguard at a recreational complex in nearby Pleasant Prairie, which is between Kenosha and Rittenhouse’s hometown of Antioch, Illinois.

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“He seemed like a young and impressionable kid,” Balch said. “He also seemed a little less equipped and less experienced, which is one reason we stayed with him.” Balch did not explain why he thought Rittenhouse was less equipped.

Balch states that he keeps an eye on Rittenhouse throughout the evening, protecting him as Rittenhouse walks around screaming that he is a medic and can help anyone who is injured. Balch called a protester abusing Rittenhouse while insulting Rittenhouse and yelling back “I love you too, ma’am.” Balch said they told him not to answer because it would only make the crowd more protest.

“Then I told him, ‘Hey, don’t say that,'” Balch testified. “It can escalate the situation to someone if they think you are making fun of them a bit. So, there was just no need.”

Former Marine Jason Lakowski testified Friday that he also traveled to Kenosha armed with a semi-automatic rifle and knife to protect businesses.

He said Rittenhouse introduced himself and said he was an emergency medical technician. Rittenhouse did not say how old he was, but Lakowski testified that he thought Rittenhouse was at least 18 years old because minors in Wisconsin could not have firearms and thought that a person should be licensed EMT. Must be 18 years old to do so.

He testified that Rosenbaum was acting “combatant”, Tried to start a fight with Lakowski’s group and asked the group members to shoot him. He said he did not consider Rosenbaum a threat to him or anyone else.

Richie McGinnis, a videographer for conservative website The Daily Caller, testified on Thursday that he met Rittenhouse while documenting the protest and asked him how old he was.

“I believe the response was something along the lines of ‘I’m an adult,'” McGinnis said. “I actually told the police that night that I believe he was in his mid-20s. But I believe I was right that his face was that of a child.”

Rittenhouse’s lawyers pushed back on any suggestion that Rittenhouse overreacted to a non-threat. He notes that Lakowski’s encounter with Rosenbaum took place in a group setting and that he never encountered Rosenbaum face-to-face, as Rittenhouse did. When defense attorney Corey Chirafisi asked Lakowski if he would feel threatened if Rosenbaum tried to charge him at full speed and take his gun, Lacowski replied, “Yes.”

But Rittenhouse’s team did not challenge the testimony that Rittenhouse had lied about his age and his medical certification and that he appeared inexperienced.

Chicago attorney Turner said defense jurors can be content to believe Rittenhouse is basically just a child.

“If I was defending the case, I would be happy because it is true. He is young and inexperienced and it goes with the intent to kill you because you perceive a situation as dangerous,” Turner said. His youth really helps him. If it’s a grown man, they think ‘this guy knows better.'”

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Associated Press reporter Amy Forlity in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

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