Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense lawyer appeared to reference the police shooting of Jacob Blake during his closing argument.
Blake, a Black man, was left partly paralyzed after he was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police.
Rittenhouse is charged with fatally shooting two men and injuring a third during civil unrest following Blake’s shooting.
Defense attorney Mark Richards, who is representing 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse during his homicide trial, appeared to reference the police shooting of Jacob Blake in his closing argument on Monday.
The unrest grew out of protests demanding justice for Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police. Blake was left partially paralyzed after the incident.
Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, and says he was acting in self-defense when he shot the three men.
“Other people in this community have shot somebody seven times and it’s been found to be okay,” Richards told the jury. “My client did it four times in three-quarters of a second to protect his life from Mr. Rosenbaum.”
Both the Kenosha County District Attorney’s office and the US Department of Justice declined to puruse charges against Rusten Sheskey, the officer who shot Blake.
Sheskey shot Blake on August 23, 2020, after Blake’s girlfriend called 911 and reported that he was trying to steal her rental car. Blake said that he was trying to remove his children after his girlfriend got into a fight with their neighbor.
But Blake had a warrant out for his arrest, so when police responded, they tried to arrest him. After failing to subdue Blake with a taser, Sheskey grabbed Blake and shot him seven times in the back.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said he wouldn’t file charges against Sheskey and the two other officers on the scene because prosecutors determined the shooting was in self-defense. The DOJ said in a statement last month that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Sheskey “willfully used excessive force.”
“After a careful and thorough review, a team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the KPD officer willfully violated the federal criminal civil rights statutes,” the statement said. “Accordingly, the review of this incident has been closed without a federal prosecution.”
Earlier this month, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is presiding over the Rittenhouse trial, dismissed a juror who admitted to joking about Blake’s death. Schroeder said the juror displayed “bad judgment” in telling a joke of that nature.
“I’ve talked quite a bit about public confidence in the outcome of the trial,” Schroeder said. “It is clear that the appearance of bias is present. And it would seriously undermine the outcome of the case.”
Read the original article on Insider