Kyle Rittenhouse is a young man from Antioch, Illinois who was charged with multiple counts, including first-degree intentional homicide, in connection with the fatal shooting of two people and the wounding of a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020.
The incident occurred during protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot multiple times in the back by a police officer in Kenosha. Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old at the time, traveled from his home in Antioch to Kenosha, where he was seen armed with an AR-15 style rifle.
Videos from the night of the shooting show Rittenhouse in a confrontation with protesters, and shots can be heard in the background. Rittenhouse is seen running away from the scene and is pursued by a group of people. He falls to the ground and opens fire, killing two people and injuring a third.
Rittenhouse turned himself in to the Antioch police department the following day and was later extradited to Wisconsin to face charges. His defense team argued that he acted in self-defense, claiming that he was being attacked by the people he shot.
The case drew widespread attention and became a political flashpoint, with many on the political right defending Rittenhouse’s actions and portraying him as a hero protecting businesses from violent protesters. Meanwhile, many on the political left denounced Rittenhouse and his supporters, arguing that he had no business being armed and that his actions were reckless and dangerous.
After a lengthy trial, a jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges in November 2021. The verdict was met with both relief and outrage, with supporters of Rittenhouse celebrating and his detractors condemning the verdict as a miscarriage of justice.