The Washington Post editorial commented (Washington PostToday, Saturday, Kyle Rittenhouse, the young man who shot two people and wounded another during protests over the police shooting of a black man in August 2020 in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, was acquitted of all charges.
The newspaper stated that the case was complex and polarized, but the verdict of the jury, which appeared to accept his interpretation that he acted in self-defense, after deliberations that lasted 26 hours over four days, must be respected.
And the newspaper added that this does not mean that Rittenhouse’s actions should be justified or glorified, and described him as not a hero but an unlucky young man who armed himself with a pistol that should not have been in his possession, foolishly put himself in a volatile situation that was not his business, and ended up causing grave damage that could not be fix it.
She pointed out that the trial highlighted the issues of civil retribution, racial injustice and weapons, but the jury’s task was not to adjudicate those hot questions, but only to issue a unanimous decision on each of the charges based on the evidence presented in court and abiding by the judge’s instructions.
She suggested that Wisconsin law – according to legal experts – is very supportive of the defendant’s claim of self-defense, as Rittenhouse appeared on the podium as a pathetic witness in his childish form crying, and described some of the judge’s rulings, Bruce Schroeder, as appearing in favor of the defense in questionable ways.
The newspaper referred to the statement of Anthony Hopper’s parents – one of the “victims”, a word that the judge prohibited from using in the trial – in which they expressed their sadness, anger and fear of the message sent by the acquittal rulings.
Rittenhouse was embraced by conservative and right-wing groups, Republicans flocked to show their approval, some even said they wanted him to be a congressional intern, and millions of dollars were raised to defend him.
The newspaper concluded that the worst result here is that other miserable young men believe that it is okay for them to carry weapons and play the role of civil guard.
Its editorial concludes that Rittenhouse is innocent in the eyes of the law, but the fact remains that had he not gone to Kenosha, the two people he killed would be alive today.