Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal in the Kenosha shooting after claiming self-defense will likely lead to more violent confrontations by armed people opposed to progressive protests, says Ja’han Jones, a writer for MSNBC’s the ReidOut.
“We [will] see people like Kyle Rittenhouse going into these situations that they might not feel welcome but they are going in there with a mentality in which they can be the ones to be judge and jury, they can be the ones to determine how people operate once they get there,” Jones said in a Nov. 19 conversation with PBS NewsHour’s Nicole Ellis.
Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges Friday after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings that became a flashpoint in the debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice in the U.S.
He was charged with homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle in the summer of 2020 during a tumultuous night of protests over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer.
“This case really serves to bolster their argument that they can waltz into an environment, deem that environment violent, perhaps based on the virtue … people who are there, or based on preconceived notions of the people who are there and they [can] partake in policing that is usually designated to people who are given that job, actual authoritative officers,” said Jones.
Rittenhouse, a former police youth cadet, said he went to Kenosha to protect property from rioters. He is white, as were those he shot.
The anonymous jury, which appeared to be overwhelmingly white, deliberated for close to three and a half days.
Rittenhouse could have gotten life in prison if found guilty on the most serious charge, first-degree intentional homicide, or what some other states call first-degree murder. Two other charges each carried over 60 years behind bars.
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