Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

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Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Nov 19, 2021 6:24 pm


Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all charges after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice.
https://apnews.com/article/kyle-rittenh ... 83c915e4de

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Fishnut » Fri Nov 19, 2021 7:05 pm

Holy f.ck, that is not good.
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by WFJ » Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:11 pm

Threaten people with guns. If they fight back, shoot them and claim self defence. This is the same defence strategy Ahmaud Arbery's killers are trying to use, and Trayvon Martin's killer successfully used.

What a backward shithole country.

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Stranger Mouse » Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:34 pm

Not unexpected but still f.cking awful. The dicks who turn up with firearms at racially charged events will be emboldened now.

The judge has a lot to answer for.
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Herainestold » Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:48 pm

Stranger Mouse wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:34 pm

The judge has a lot to answer for.
Indeed
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:57 pm

On the fuckedupness of the laws that allowed this verdict:

In Wisconsin, as in most U.S. states, the prosecution bears the burden of disproving self-defense claims beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, at his trial, Rittenhouse did not need to prove that each shooting in Kenosha was an act of self-defense; the prosecution needed to prove that this was not the case.

Under Wisconsin law, you can kill people in self-defense if you reasonably believe that doing so is necessary to spare yourself or others from imminent bodily harm or death. This belief need not be accurate. Nor must it be reasonable from an objective perspective. It only needs to be reasonable from the subjective point of view of the shooter in the moment he or she pulls the trigger.

[…]

Rittenhouse’s self-defense claims boast legal plausibility. But they also illustrate the difficulty of reconciling mass gun ownership and expansive rights to self-defense with the rule of law.

Rittenhouse’s killing of Rosenbaum may have been lawful. But that was scarcely self-evident to the bystanders who heard gunshots and then saw a killer holding an AR-15. The group of protesters who proceeded to chase and attack Rittenhouse could have reasonably believed that killing the armed teenager was necessary to save others from imminent bodily harm. If Rittenhouse had a right to shoot Huber and Grosskreutz in self-defense, the latter had a similarly legitimate basis for shooting Rittenhouse dead.

Put differently: Once Rittenhouse fired his first shots, he and his attackers plausibly entered a context in which neither could be held legally liable for killing the other. Whether one emerged from this confrontation legally innocent or lawfully executed hinged on little more than one’s relative capacity for rapidly deploying lethal violence. Rittenhouse had a more powerful weapon and a quicker trigger finger than Huber or Grosskreutz. Thus, he walks free, in full health, while Huber lies in a grave and Grosskreutz gets by without the bulk of his right bicep.

This outbreak of “Wild West” rule isn’t as anomalous as one might hope. America’s culture of vigilantism, high rate of gun ownership, and increasingly permissive self-defense laws have conspired to turn “kill or be killed” scenarios into a regular occurrence.

[…]

If America’s permissive self-defense laws and abundant guns open up a vast zone of permissible killing, the precise borders of that territory are shaped by white supremacy. In a 2013 study of U.S. homicides, the Urban Institute found that killings involving “a white perpetrator and a black victim are 281 percent more likely to be ruled justified than cases with a white perpetrator and white victim.”

A legal environment that favors the armed in their confrontations with the unarmed, police in their confrontations with suspects, and whites in their confrontations with Blacks is antithetical to social peace, let alone social justice. It is, however, quite favorable to the American far right.

It is not obvious how (or even if) America’s self-defense laws should be reformed. As John Pfaff argues in the Washington Post, lowering prosectors’ burden of proof in self-defense cases may do more to imperil victims of alleged domestic violence like Marissa Alexander than to restrain right-wing vigilantes like Kyle Rittenhouse.

The fundamental source of the carnage in Kenosha, and the anarchic legal paradoxes it exposed, are America’s superabundance of firearms, self-appointed guardians of public order, and the culture that produced them. When anyone could have a gun, or be about to reach for someone else’s, every victim is a potential killer, and every killer potentially innocent.
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/11 ... lysis.html

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Fishnut » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:01 pm

Stranger Mouse wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:34 pm
The judge has a lot to answer for.
I don't know that the judge is to blame as much as the laws that allow people to walk around with a loaded weapon and then claim self-defence when they use it. Opening Arguments has done a few episodes on the trial, including their latest episode, and it sounds like contrary to media representations, the judge has actually been pretty unbiased. The prosecutor sounds shite - this piece provides a good summary, though with some rebuttals.

The TL:DR is that the prosecutor decided to charge Rittenhouse with everything he could, rather than focusing on the murders and attempted murder. He tried to violate Rittenhouse's constitutional right not to incriminate himself. He also tried to use evidence that had been forbidden in a pre-trial ruling. Something not mentioned in the piece but discussed on the podcast was that he also presented a higher resolution version of a video to the jury than the one he provided the defense, which could have led the judge to rule a mistrial if he so chose. It looks like the prosecutor's witnesses were poorly prepped too.

Honestly, while I was shocked when I saw the news now it's sunk in I'm find myself wondering why I expected it to be any other way. The system is stacked so that verdicts like this are inevitable. Maybe with a more liberal judge and a less white jury they would have convicted him on something, but the law as it stands lets people shoot other people and claim self-defence.
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by dyqik » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:14 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:01 pm
Something not mentioned in the piece but discussed on the podcast was that he also presented a higher resolution version of a video to the jury than the one he provided the defense, which could have led the judge to rule a mistrial if he so chose. It looks like the prosecutor's witnesses were poorly prepped too.
This resolution issue appears to have been due to sending a video from an iPhone to an Android phone (I'm not clear if that was from prosecutor to the former defence attorney, or from the former defence attorney to the current defence attorney). What the f.ck either side is doing using phones to transfer key evidence rather than traceable secure means, I don't know. It's like faxing a photo of a signed document rather than transmitting an original.
Last edited by dyqik on Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Fishnut » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:16 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:14 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:01 pm
Something not mentioned in the piece but discussed on the podcast was that he also presented a higher resolution version of a video to the jury than the one he provided the defense, which could have led the judge to rule a mistrial if he so chose. It looks like the prosecutor's witnesses were poorly prepped too.
This resolution issue appears to have been due to sending a video from an iPhone to an Android phone. What the f.ck either side is doing using phones to transfer key evidence rather than traceable secure means, I don't know. It's like faxing a photo of a signed document rather than transmitting an original.
f.cking hell, is that how it happened?!
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Fishnut » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:17 pm

I was going to add this as an edit but as I got replies before I finished I figured it was best as a separate post.

I wanted to add that just because Rittenhouse got acquitted due to a law that says killing people is allowable under self-defence, I don't for a minute think that would be accepted if he had been black. For one thing, if he were I doubt he'd have had the opportunity to even be arrested - more likely he'd have been shot on sight. And if he had managed to make it to trial I don't believe he'd have been given the benefit of the doubt the way that the white Rittenhouse was.
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:24 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:01 pm

Honestly, while I was shocked when I saw the news now it's sunk in I'm find myself wondering why I expected it to be any other way. The system is stacked so that verdicts like this are inevitable. Maybe with a more liberal judge and a less white jury they would have convicted him on something, but the law as it stands lets people shoot other people and claim self-defence.
I agree. The law has been written to make Rittenhouse’s actions lawful.

The justice system has failed in the way that it has been designed to fail.

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Herainestold » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:29 pm

White justice system set up by white people. White supremacists with guns have the right to shoot non white people.

I wonder if there will be riots in America tonight.
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Fishnut » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:35 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:29 pm
White justice system set up by white people. White supremacists with guns have the right to shoot non white people.

I wonder if there will be riots in America tonight.
But god forbid they teach critical race theory.
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Gfamily » Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:51 am

what I can only feel is fair comment
Shaadie Ali, interim executive director of the ACLU of Wisconsin wrote:Despite Kyle Rittenhouse’s conscious decision to take the lives of two people protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake by police, he was not held responsible for his actions, something that is not surprising. But Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t the only one responsible for the deaths that night. The events in Kenosha stem from the deep roots of white supremacy in our society’s institutions. They underscore that the police do not protect communities of color in the same way they do white people.

The situation also represents an outrageous failure to protect protesters by the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office. Months of research and open records requests have uncovered many incidents in which police enabled white militia members to become armed vigilantes in the street due to their failure to control the crowd. They also created an environment where protesters, many of whom were people of color, were not protected and treated as the enemy. At the same time, white militia members were welcomed with open arms. We need a system of public safety that protects the lives of the entire community.

Rittenhouse’s trial highlights an urgent need for reform for both police and the criminal legal system. The system is broken, and it desperately needs to be fixed.
https://www.aclu-wi.org/en/news/aclu-re ... house-case
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:28 am

From what I have read of the evidence, it seems quite possible he is innocent as charged. But there is still something very wrong. He should at least be banned from carrying guns in future. While he may have gone out to protect people and property, as he claimed, he had no clue how to do it and caused disaster. Even if you're one of the good guys, you don't go out alone into a hostile situation where you can be outnumbered or ambushed - that's just asking for trouble. I suspect the USA is more prone to people thinking they're the solo superhero out to right wrongs without realising that that's just fiction.
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by sheldrake » Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:37 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:28 am
From what I have read of the evidence, it seems quite possible he is innocent as charged. But there is still something very wrong. He should at least be banned from carrying guns in future. While he may have gone out to protect people and property, as he claimed, he had no clue how to do it and caused disaster. Even if you're one of the good guys, you don't go out alone into a hostile situation where you can be outnumbered or ambushed - that's just asking for trouble. I suspect the USA is more prone to people thinking they're the solo superhero out to right wrongs without realising that that's just fiction.
I think this is likely closest to the truth. Rittenhouse was a confused teenager who hero-worshipped police officers IMHO.

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by discovolante » Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:50 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:57 pm
On the fuckedupness of the laws that allowed this verdict:

In Wisconsin, as in most U.S. states, the prosecution bears the burden of disproving self-defense claims beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, at his trial, Rittenhouse did not need to prove that each shooting in Kenosha was an act of self-defense; the prosecution needed to prove that this was not the case.

Under Wisconsin law, you can kill people in self-defense if you reasonably believe that doing so is necessary to spare yourself or others from imminent bodily harm or death. This belief need not be accurate. Nor must it be reasonable from an objective perspective. It only needs to be reasonable from the subjective point of view of the shooter in the moment he or she pulls the trigger.

[…]

Rittenhouse’s self-defense claims boast legal plausibility. But they also illustrate the difficulty of reconciling mass gun ownership and expansive rights to self-defense with the rule of law.

Rittenhouse’s killing of Rosenbaum may have been lawful. But that was scarcely self-evident to the bystanders who heard gunshots and then saw a killer holding an AR-15. The group of protesters who proceeded to chase and attack Rittenhouse could have reasonably believed that killing the armed teenager was necessary to save others from imminent bodily harm. If Rittenhouse had a right to shoot Huber and Grosskreutz in self-defense, the latter had a similarly legitimate basis for shooting Rittenhouse dead.

Put differently: Once Rittenhouse fired his first shots, he and his attackers plausibly entered a context in which neither could be held legally liable for killing the other. Whether one emerged from this confrontation legally innocent or lawfully executed hinged on little more than one’s relative capacity for rapidly deploying lethal violence. Rittenhouse had a more powerful weapon and a quicker trigger finger than Huber or Grosskreutz. Thus, he walks free, in full health, while Huber lies in a grave and Grosskreutz gets by without the bulk of his right bicep.

This outbreak of “Wild West” rule isn’t as anomalous as one might hope. America’s culture of vigilantism, high rate of gun ownership, and increasingly permissive self-defense laws have conspired to turn “kill or be killed” scenarios into a regular occurrence.

[…]

If America’s permissive self-defense laws and abundant guns open up a vast zone of permissible killing, the precise borders of that territory are shaped by white supremacy. In a 2013 study of U.S. homicides, the Urban Institute found that killings involving “a white perpetrator and a black victim are 281 percent more likely to be ruled justified than cases with a white perpetrator and white victim.”

A legal environment that favors the armed in their confrontations with the unarmed, police in their confrontations with suspects, and whites in their confrontations with Blacks is antithetical to social peace, let alone social justice. It is, however, quite favorable to the American far right.

It is not obvious how (or even if) America’s self-defense laws should be reformed. As John Pfaff argues in the Washington Post, lowering prosectors’ burden of proof in self-defense cases may do more to imperil victims of alleged domestic violence like Marissa Alexander than to restrain right-wing vigilantes like Kyle Rittenhouse.

The fundamental source of the carnage in Kenosha, and the anarchic legal paradoxes it exposed, are America’s superabundance of firearms, self-appointed guardians of public order, and the culture that produced them. When anyone could have a gun, or be about to reach for someone else’s, every victim is a potential killer, and every killer potentially innocent.
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/11 ... lysis.html
So the prosecution has to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, what the defence subjectively believed?
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:22 am

discovolante wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:50 am

So the prosecution has to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, what the defence subjectively believed?
Seems so:
for legal scholars, it was not a surprise. Once Mr. Rittenhouse claimed that he had acted in self-defense when he shot three men, killing two, during unrest following the police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wis., the onus was on the prosecution to prove otherwise.

“When people look at this, and they’re feeling frustrated, they’re not recognizing just how high the prosecutors’ burden is here,” said Cecelia Klingele, a University of Wisconsin law professor. “It was a real uphill battle to get out from under self-defense.”

The acquittal points to the wide berth the legal system gives to defendants who say they acted out of fear, even if others around them were also afraid.

Wisconsin’s rules for self-defense are well within the national mainstream. If people reasonably believe they are at risk of death or great bodily harm, they can use deadly force. Most states say that someone who provokes violence or is acting illegally waives the right to self-defense, but Wisconsin allows it if the person has “exhausted every other reasonable means to escape from or otherwise avoid death or great bodily harm.”

The state does not have a full-fledged “stand your ground” statute that exists in at least 30 states, but people who believe they are threatened do not have a duty to retreat if they can.

Such rules can be combustible when juxtaposed against the state’s open carry law, which allows for situations like the one at issue in the trial, where numerous strangers were armed and had taken it upon themselves to maintain order.

Self-defense laws typically do not require someone to have good judgment and tend to consider only the moments leading up to the violence, not whether the person willingly entered a turbulent situation or contributed to the chaos.

“Do you look at the choice to go to a heated, confrontational area with a weapon that would be scary to a lot of people?” said Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor who teaches at Duke University School of Law, speaking of Mr. Rittenhouse. “You can’t really say that he doesn’t have a right to do that because of the status of gun laws.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/19/us/r ... fense.html
Prosecutors said that Rittenhouse had put himself in danger through a series of reckless choices: He came to Kenosha during a period of violent and destructive riots; he armed himself with an AR-15-style rifle; he stayed there past curfew and after being separated from his group. They emphasized that he was the only person there to shoot someone.

But the law of self-defense in Wisconsin allows someone to use deadly force if they reasonably believe they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

"And if so, he's allowed to use essentially as much force as he thinks is reasonably necessary to stop the threat," said Kim.

[...]

In Wisconsin, once a defendant has made a self-defense claim, prosecutors must then disprove it "beyond a reasonable doubt," experts explained.

The prosecution's case depended on video evidence that was often dark and blurry. One key video was shot from far away, and in others, the action was at times obstructed, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions.

"Some of the video footage, some of the still frame shots appeared to support the self-defense claim," said Chris Zachar, a criminal defense attorney based in La Crosse, Wis., who said prosecutors had "squandered" their case.
https://www.npr.org/2021/11/19/10574223 ... -to-acquit

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by sheldrake » Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:36 am

Rittenhouse’s defence didnt rest on whether or not he was a member of a militia organisation, but on whether he was credibly defending himself. Everybody he shot at either pointed a weapon at him or physically assaulted him first. Thats why he was acquited.

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:04 am

sheldrake wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:36 am
Rittenhouse’s defence didnt rest on whether or not he was a member of a militia organisation, but on whether he was credibly defending himself. Everybody he shot at either pointed a weapon at him or physically assaulted him first. Thats why he was acquited.
Yes, that's correct under Wisconsin law.

If Rittenhouse had been tried in the UK other thresholds would have to have been met. The jury would have needed to make an objective judgement on whether a reasonable person would have viewed the use of force to have been a reasonable response to a threat (as opposed to in Wisconsin where they made a subjective judgement on whether Rittenhouse believed himself to be under threat). As part of that judgement the jury would have needed to decide whether Rittenhouse's use of force was proportionate - ie did he need to shoot all three people in order to defend himself.

So Rittenhouse may not have been acquitted of all charges in the UK, or other counties.

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Fishnut » Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:07 am

This piece is geoblocked but a friend has managed to provide a copy of the text (behind the spoiler). It was written by a Wisconsin lawyer before the verdict was announced.

Spoiler:


I think these are key paragraphs,
Rittenhouse is not barred from claiming the privilege of self-defense because he illegally possessed a firearm. He is also not barred from claiming the privilege of self-defense because he was violating a curfew order. While many people feel that carrying an AR-15 assault rifle in public is dangerous and invites confrontation, Wisconsin is one of many “open carry” states where parading down a public street with a military-style assault rifle is permitted.

If the jury acquits Rittenhouse, then they will be doing what the law requires them to do. That should prompt us to ask why the law dictates this result, and how the law might be changed to discourage people from resorting to deadly force -- and if they do, to hold them more accountable.
As soon as you start from a position that walking around with a weapon - let alone with a military-style assault rifle - isn't automatically provocative you're permitting verdicts like this.
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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by sheldrake » Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:23 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:04 am
sheldrake wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:36 am
Rittenhouse’s defence didnt rest on whether or not he was a member of a militia organisation, but on whether he was credibly defending himself. Everybody he shot at either pointed a weapon at him or physically assaulted him first. Thats why he was acquited.
Yes, that's correct under Wisconsin law.

If Rittenhouse had been tried in the UK other thresholds would have to have been met. The jury would have needed to make an objective judgement on whether a reasonable person would have viewed the use of force to have been a reasonable response to a threat (as opposed to in Wisconsin where they made a subjective judgement on whether Rittenhouse believed himself to be under threat). As part of that judgement the jury would have needed to decide whether Rittenhouse's use of force was proportionate - ie did he need to shoot all three people in order to defend himself.

So Rittenhouse may not have been acquitted of all charges in the UK, or other counties.
I don't think the judgement is very subjective here, as it rests not on verbal threats or body language, but actual prior assault (attempting to grab him, kicking him on the floor or hitting with a skateboard) and somebody pointing a firearm at him. I agree that bringing a loaded firearm to a scene of tension would be viewed extremely differently by a UK court (similar treatment to Tony Martin would likely apply).

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by bjn » Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:31 pm

So the protesters who felt threatened by Rittenhouse would have been equally justified if they had killed him? He was walking around with an assault rifle in a provocative manner and was a threat to their lives, especially after he started shootings people.

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by Fishnut » Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:41 pm

bjn wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:31 pm
So the protesters who felt threatened by Rittenhouse would have been equally justified if they had killed him? He was walking around with an assault rifle in a provocative manner and was a threat to their lives, especially after he started shootings people.
That does seem to be the case.

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Re: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

Post by bjn » Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:39 pm

What a clusterf.ck. Protests will easily turn into gun battles where no one is to blame as they were all “defending themselves”, even if you shot first or were acting in a provocative manner.

Could a heavily armed KKK member deliberately walk up to some ordinary public gathering of non while people, start acting like an a..eh.le, and get away with murder by claiming self defence when people became agitated?

What would happen if a black person did the same and some right wing gathering, how likely would they be to get off?

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