Prosecutors can’t show Rittenhouse link to Proud Boys, judge says

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Kyle Rittenhouse up for trial November 1

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A judge ruled that prosecutors cannot argue that Kyle Rittenhouse is affiliated with the Proud Boys or that he assaulted a woman months before last year’s shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Rittenhouse is set to stand trial on a number of counts, including murder, from November 1. The 18-year-old argues that he opened fire in self-defense after men attacked him during riots following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Prosecutors say they have infrared video from an FBI surveillance plane that shows Rittenhouse chased and shot the first man.

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Rittenhouse was 17 when he traveled to Kenosha, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from his home in Antioch, Illinois, on August 25, 2020, in response to a call on social media to protect businesses there .

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Rittenhouse then shot Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gage Grosskretz, killing Rosenbaum and Huber and injuring Grosskretz.

During a hearing on several motions Friday, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger told the lawsuit to argue that Rittenhouse subscribes to the far-right group, the Proud Boys, and its philosophies. Binger pointed out that Rittenhouse was Seen in a bar with members of the group’s Wisconsin chapter in January And a few days later went to Miami to meet the national president of the group.

Binger also asked the judge to provide evidence that Rittenhouse attacked a woman in June 2020 because she was fighting with her sister. He also wants to show a video of jurors 15 days before the shooting in which Rittenhouse said he wanted to shoot some people he thought were buying from a pharmacy.

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Rittenhouse’s attorney, Cory Chirafisi, said none of the incidents were relevant to the shootings. Nothing shows Rittenhouse was linked to the Proud Boys on the night of the protest or that the shooting was racially motivated, Chirafisi said, pointing out that Rittenhouse and the men they shot were white.

Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder agreed with the defense regarding June’s fight, and Rittenhouse chatted with the Proud Boys. He deferred the decision on pharmacy video but said he was willing to put it out.

During discussions about that video, Binger said that prosecutors have infrared surveillance footage that they said shows Rittenhouse chasing Rosenbaum, who was the first person to shoot Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse Attorney Mark Richards said it was Rosenbaum who began chasing Rittenhouse, shouting, “Kill him!” He said Rosenbaum surrounded Rittenhouse in front of a row of cars in the parking lot and threw a bag at him before trying to grab Rittenhouse’s gun.

Binger said surveillance footage showed Rittenhouse chasing Rosenbaum with a fire extinguisher before Rosenbaum turned to face Rosenbaum. Binger said that Rosenbaum was probably trying to push the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle away.

After Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum, people started chasing him in the streets. Video from the night of the protest shows Rittenhouse shooting Huber after Huber hit him with a skateboard and tried to grab his gun. Grosskretz then approached Rittenhouse with a gun and Rittenhouse shot him.

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Schroeder denied a defense request, arguing that Rosenbaum was trying to steal Rittenhouse’s rifle because Rosenbaum was a sex offender and did not legally own a firearm.

He delayed deciding on defense requests to dismiss an allegation that Rittenhouse illegally possessed his gun because he was a minor and to allow testimony from an expert on police use of force. He scheduled another hearing for October 5.

Rittenhouse has been supported by many across the country, who have raised $2 million to cover his bail, and former President Donald Trump even suggested last year that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.

“He was trying to get away from them, I think, it seems,” Trump said during a news conference in August. “I think he was in big trouble. He probably would have been killed.”

Rittenhouse’s mother also slammed President Biden in November on a presidential campaign ad that used Rittenhouse’s image “to get votes”.

“How dare he [Biden] … do this to my son,” Wendy Rittenhouse told host Tucker Carlson in November. “It’s my son that he did it. And I’m not going to back down from that — and [Kyle] Not a white supremacist. He’s not a racist. He’s my son and I know him and what Joe Biden said is none of them.”


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