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Kyle Rittenhouse: Video shows alleged Kenosha shooter punching a girl, reports say

Witnesses claim teen in video is protest shooter

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 02 September 2020 22:16 BST
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson refuses to directly denounce Kyle Rittenhouse
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A video circulating on social media purportedly shows Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused of shooting and killing two people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin and injuring a third, getting into a fight and punching a teenage girl in the back several times.

In the video, the person alleged to be Mr Rittenhouse and a group of teenagers appear to be engaged in a heated argument. At first it appears the teens are going to go their separate ways, but something sets the group off and they begin to brawl.

The teen identified as Mr Rittenhouse jumps into the scuffle and begins punching a girl in a black shirt in her back while she's grappling with another individual. The video cuts out shortly after. It is unclear what sparked the encounter or what happened later.

As the individual believed to be Mr Rittenhouse punches the girl, one of the individuals filming the encounter reacts to the scene from inside their car.

"Hold up. He punching a b****," a voice says, before getting out of the car. It is unclear what the individual filming did after leaving the car.

The footage was shot on 1 July by two Kenosha men, Reese Granville and CJ Wakefield, according to the Journal Times. The men are the ones who identified the teen as Mr Rittenhouse.

A different clip shows the teenager being kicked by several times, and a male voice yelling at him for hitting women.

"Do not put your hands on a female *****," the voice yells.

Mr Rittenhouse has been charged with first degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, recklessly endangering safety and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 for his role in the deaths of two individuals during protests in Kenosha.

Videos taken on the night of the protest appear to show Mr Rittenhouse shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, after the man seems to throw a plastic bag in his direction. Mr Rittenhouse is believed to have then called a friend, told him he'd killed someone, and run down a street while protesters chased after him.

Mr Rittenhouse stumbled while attempting to flee. Another protester, Anthony Huber, ran up to him and hit him with a skateboard while trying to grab his gun, but the teen apparently shot him in the chest, killing him. The teen then allegedly shot into the crowd, hitting another protester, Gaige Grosskreutz, in the arm. Mr Grosskreutz was holding a hand gun in the video.

The teen was arrested the following day after returning to his home in Antioch, Illinois. Mr Rittenhouse attempted to turn himself into police following the shootings, but Kenosha police appear to have allowed him to leave, telling him to get off the streets rather than arresting him.

His lawyer, John Pierce, claims his client killed the individuals out of self defence. The legal team representing Mr Rittenhouse has previously represented Nicholas Sandmann, a high school student who sued media organisations after a confrontation with protesters in Washington DC, Richard Jewell, a suspect in the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing in Atlanta, and Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to Donald Trump.

Under Wisconsin's laws, a person who provokes an attack while engaging in unlawful conduct is not privileged to claim self defence.

"A person who engages in unlawful conduct of a type likely to provoke others to attack him or her and thereby does provoke an attack is not entitled to claim the privilege of self-defence against such attack, except when the attack which ensues is of a type causing the person engaging in the unlawful conduct to reasonably believe that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm," the law states.

While Mr Rittenhouse's legal team could claim that he had a reason to believe that he was "in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm", the law also states that when an individual who has provoked an attack while engaged in illegal conduct may defend themselves, they can only use deadly force as an absolute last result and must believe all other options for escaping the situation were expended.

"In such a case, the person engaging in the unlawful conduct is privileged to act in self-defence, but the person is not privileged to resort to the use of force intended or likely to cause death to the person's assailant unless the person reasonably believes he or she has exhausted every other reasonable means to escape from or otherwise avoid death or great bodily harm at the hands of his or her assailant," the law states.

Further, the law states that "a person who provokes an attack, whether by lawful or unlawful conduct, with intent to use such an attack as an excuse to cause death or great bodily harm to his or her assailant is not entitled to claim the privilege of self-defence".

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