A jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts for his role in a shooting that left two men dead and another wounded in August of last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
After 23 hours of deliberation, Rittenhouse was found not guilty on five charges: First-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
The prosecution’s case rested on 22 witnesses and described how Rittenhouse acted recklessly. Rittenhouse’s defense team used drone footage as evidence to point to Rittenhouse acting in self-defense.
Prosecutors argued that going into a protest to counterprotest with a gun is asking for trouble.
“How can you go into a protest with an automatic gun like that?” asked Arianne Barbosa, a legal studies major at Salt Lake Community College. “When you go into a peaceful protest, you should have your voice heard in a passive. Don’t be violent.”
“I wasn’t surprised,” said Casey Schrader, an international studies major at SLCC. “I understand that it could’ve been proven as self-defense, but the fact that he went across state lines with a gun is criminal.”
The case also had a few moments of controversy early on, when judge Bruce Schroeder said the people Rittenhouse killed were not to be referred to as victims, but as “arsonists” and “looters,” according to NPR.
“I thought the judge was biased and should’ve handled the case better,” said Schrader. “I have no faith in the justice system.”
After the verdict was read, Rittenhouse was offered internships from Florida congressman and accused sex trafficker Matt Gaetz, as well as North Carolina congressman Madison Cawthorn.