Friday, September 29, 2023

Rittenhouse acquitted; Kenosha schools go virtual


A jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty Friday. He’s the Illinois teen who was charged with homicide in the deaths of two people, attempted homicide in the maiming of a third, and reckless endangerment for firing a rifle during protests last year over the police shooting of a Black man.

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Mr Rittenhouse argued that he fired in self-defense, and in such cases, the burden of proof often rests heavily on the prosecution.

“When people look at this, and they’re feeling frustrated, they’re not recognizing just how high the prosecutors’ burden is here,” the New York Times quoted Cecelia Klingele, a University of Wisconsin law professor, as saying. “It was a real uphill battle to get out from under self-defense.”

Kenosha Unified School District converted a few schools near the courthouse to virtual learning as of Wednesday and for the rest of the week, anticipating the jury’s verdict and the possibility of protests that might erupt near the schools, the Kenosha News reported:

  • Brass Elementary
  • Frank Elementary
  • Harborside Academy, a charter school
  • Reuther Central High School, a choice school
  • Washington Middle School

Indeed, crowds near the courthouse erupted in shouts, screams, speeches, and debates within seconds of the verdict being read, the Kenosha News reported. The debates underscored and possibly widened the political chasm in the US.


I am concerned that citizens and the government may turn Mr Rittenhouse’s vigilante actions into heroism, and I’m reminded of the Black Panthers, perhaps seen by some as vigilantes with guns themselves.

Citizens in California considered them an armed threat when they marched on the California State Legislature in 1967, a mostly white group.

Gov Ronald Reagan said this: “I don’t think that loaded guns is the way to solve a problem that should be solved between people of good will. And anyone who would approve of this kind of demonstration must be out of their mind.”

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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