by WorldTribune Staff, October 10, 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse’s decision to shoot three rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer was “justified,” a use of force expert said at a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday.
“A citizen in that position, given those indicators, would it be reasonable for them to believe they were about to be assaulted?” said use of force expert John Black, National File reported on Oct. 9. “I would argue yes.”
Black testified that he spent hours analyzing the shootings and the events leading up to them. Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, is facing homicide and other charges for shooting Kenosha rioters Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz on Aug. 25, 2020. Rosenbaum and Huber were killed while Grosskreutz was wounded after being shot in the hand.
According to reports from the scene in Kenosha, Rittenhouse fatally shot 36-year-old Rosenbaum. According to the criminal complaint, the medical examiner found that Rosenbaum was shot in the groin, back and hand. He also suffered a superficial graze wound on his left thigh and a wound to the side of his head.
Black testified that video footage shows Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse and reached for the teenager’s gun. Rosenbaum can be seen chasing Rittenhouse and yelling “shoot me ni**a” as the teenager tries to run away. Another video shows a rioter firing a handgun into the air as a crowd chases Rittenhouse, proving that Rittenhouse did not fire the first shot.
Black testified that, based on the video footage, Rittenhouse had reason to believe Rosenbaum intended to grab his weapon and use it on him, justifying Rittenhouse’s decision to shoot. “Now the firearm is a potential weapon for both parties,” Black said. “Now we have a potential wrestling match.”
Huber, 26, was shot dead while attempting to beat Rittenhouse with a skateboard. Rittenhouse was being chased by a leftist mob when he tripped and fell. At that point, Huber bashed him in the back of the head/neck with a skateboard. Rittenhouse shot Huber in the chest.
Grosskreutz, 26, had his arm partially blown off after he rushed at Rittenhouse, who had just tripped and fallen while being chased. Grosskreutz had a gun in his hand when he approached Rittenhouse.
Regarding the shooting of Huber, Black concluded that Rittenhouse’s decision to shoot was reasonable. A video released not long after the shooting shows Huber hitting the teenager over the head with a skateboard while attempting to grab his rifle.
Moments after Huber was shot, Grosskreutz can be seen approaching Rittenhouse. He initially put his hands up, but then raised a handgun. Rittenhouse then shot him in the bicep. Black considered the use of force against Grosskreutz, who later remarked that his only regret was “not killing the kid”, justified as well.
Black also testified that Rittenhouse maintained control of his gun and was not aimlessly shooting at the crowd.
Rittenhouse’s lead attorney, Mark Richards, is trying to persuade Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder to let Black testify at the trial in November. Schroeder is holding off on making a decision until he also hears testimony from a prosecution expert on use of force on Oct. 25. The trial is scheduled to being Nov. 1.
The judge also declined to drop a weapons charge against Rittenhouse, though he said he is open to revisiting the matter.