Kyle Rittenhouse verdict – live: Acquitted teen’s attorney criticises GOP attempts to capitalise on trial

Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty on all charges in homicide trial

Protests across the US followed the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse after a jury found him not guilty on all five counts in his homicide trial after four days of jury deliberations.

Prominent officials and families of victims urged for peaceful demonstrations. “We ask that all members of the public accept the verdicts peacefully and not resort to violence,” Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley added in a statement on Friday.

Right-wing figures celebrated the decision, with Republican US Rep Madison Cawthorn offering Mr Rittenhouse an internship and telling supporters to “be armed, be dangerous, and be moral” while exercising the right to self-defense.

Mr Rittenhouse’s defense attorney Mark Richards criticised GOP attempts to “trade on his celebrity”.

Fox News personality Tucker Carlson will interview Mr Rittenhouse on Monday, and the network is set to air a documentary-style film about the trial in December. Mr Richards told CNN on Friday that he did not approve of a film crew embedding with the legal team.

Mr Rittenhouse faced five felony charges for shooting three men in the aftermath of police brutality protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin on 25 August 2020.

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Nearly half of Americans do not support stricter gun laws, poll finds

Roughly 49 per cent of Americans oppose stricter gun laws, while 45 percent are in support, according to a Quinnipiac University poll from earlier this month.

The results fall largely along partisan lines: 84 per cent of Republicans oppose restrictions on guns, while 91 per cent of Democrats support them.

For the first time since December 2015, fewer than 50 per cent of American voters support stricter gun laws. Among registered voters, 48 per cent oppose them, while 47 per cent are in support.

Alex Woodward20 November 2021 21:30

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Rittenhouse attorney says GOP lawmakers are trying to ‘profit’ from client

Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense attorney Mark Richards told Insider that he believes it is “disgusting” that prominent GOP officials are “trying to profit” from his client’s case and acquittal.

“There’s a lot of people trying to profit on this, and I don’t think people should,” he told Insider.

“They’re raising money on it and you have all these Republican congressmen saying, ‘Come work for me.’ … They want to trade on his celebrity and I think it’s disgusting.”

His comment follow widespread celebration among Republican officials following a not guilty verdict in Mr Rittenhouse’s double homicide trial, including three members of Congress suggesting that Mr Rittenhouse be their intern.

Alex Woodward20 November 2021 21:10

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Rittenhouse attorney: ‘Too many people run around with guns in our society’

During his appearance on CNN on Friday, Kyle Rittenhouse attorney Mark Richards said he believes “too many people run around with guns in our society.”

CNN host Chris Cuomo asked whether he believes it has become “too easy” to shoot people relying on claims of self-defense against prosecutors’ high burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were invalid.

“I represent a lot of people who have legal conceal carry permits who get into it, they pull the gun and there’s problems from there, whether they’re under the influence of alcohol or they use it to threaten somebody,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “I wish our society wasn’t perceived as being so dangerous that people needed to arm themselves.”

He added: “I’m old enough when I remember you couldn’t carry a gun.”

Mr Richards – who was hired by Mr Rittenhouse’s previous attorneys, including election fraud conspiracy theorist Lin Wood – told the Associated Press that he did not join the case as “somebody to go off on a crusade.”

“They wanted to use Kyle for a cause and something that I think was inappropriate – and I don’t represent causes. I represent clients,” he said.

Mr Rittenhouse’s attorneys successfully argued to jurors that their client fired his AR-15-style rifle to protect himself in self-defense against a violent mob that has chased after him.

Alex Woodward20 November 2021 20:27

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GoFundMe explains why crowdfunding site removed Rittenhouse campaigns

GoFundMe removed dozens of online fundraisers for Kyle Rittenhouse after he was charged in the Kenosha shootings because such campaigns violated the company’s Terms of Service that “prohibit raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime,” the company explained in a statement.

Following his acquittal on Friday, the company explained that “a fundraiser to pay lawyers, cover legal expenses or to help with ongoing living expenses for a person acquitted of those charges could remain active as long as we determine it is not in violation of any of our other terms and, for example, the purpose is clearly stated and the correct beneficiary is added to the fundraiser.”

Alex Woodward20 November 2021 20:00

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What’s next for Kyle Rittenhouse?

From The Independent’s Justin Vallejo:

After avoiding a possible life behind bars, Kyle Rittenhouse left Kenosha courthouse a free man to pursue a potential life of either nursing, politics or relative anonymity.

But his acquittal of first-degree intentional homicide may not end his legal woes as a battle brews over who gets the $2m raised for his bond, and his case is referred to the Department of Justice for possible federal charges.

Alex Woodward20 November 2021 19:30

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Kyle Rittenhouse attorney ‘did not approve of’ Tucker Carlson film crew embedded with team during trial

Hours after a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on charges of homicide, Fox News personality Tucker Carlson announced that he will not only interview the teenager but air a documentary about him.

Mr Rittenhouse was charged with five felonies after fatally shooting two men and injuring another in the volatile aftermath of police brutality protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin on 25 August, 2020.

On 19 November, the host of Tucker Carlson Tonight revealed that a film crew had followed the 18-year-old during the trial, though defense attorney Mark Richards told CNN that he did “not approve of that”.

“I threw them out of the room several times,” Mr Richards said on Friday following the verdict. “I don’t think a film crew is appropriate for something like this.”

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Alex Woodward20 November 2021 19:00

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Can Kyle Rittenhouse face civil penalties?

Legal experts tell NBC News that should Kyle Rittenhouse face a wrongful death lawsuit in a civil trial, he could claim self-defense as he did in his criminal trial.

The burden of proof on civil plaintiffs will need to show “a preponderance of evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt” which may be prove to be a lower bar for an effective civil case, unlike in the criminal case, where prosecutors faced a significant hurdle.

“In a civil case you just have to prove negligence,” Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, told NBC News. “Did his conduct fall below the standard of care that the average person would have?”

A civil action would also allow a jury to examine a broader range of evidence, rather than the criminal trial’s relatively narrow scope that traced the events of the shootings.

20 November 2021 18:35

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Portland police declare ‘riot’ amid protests after polarising Rittenhouse verdict as victims plea for peace

Officials across the US and the families of victims have urged for calm as protests in several cities followed the polarising outcome in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

In New York around 300 people marched and carried placards from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Bridge before crossing into lower Manhattan on Friday.

Protests in Portland, Oregon prompted officials to declare a riot. A group of “10 to 20” people in a crowd of roughly 200 protesters broke windows and tossed objects at police, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

Meanwhile, families of victims and officials in Kenosha have urged for peaceful demonstrations as healing continues in the fractured community.

More here:

Alex Woodward20 November 2021 17:49

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Proud Boys defence motion in Capitol riot case points to Kyle Rittenhouse as precedent

A defence motion filed on behalf of alleged Proud Boys on the same day as the verdict in the Rittenhouse trial defended their actions in Washington DC on 6 January by comparing them to Mr Rittenhouse’s decision to patrol Kenosha streets.

Members came to the Capitol to “defend vulnerable demonstrators against violent attacks from antifa, not unlike what Kyle Rittenhouse did” in Wisconsin on 25 August 2020, according to the motion, first reported by NBC4 investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane, who was closely followed Capitol riot-linked cases.

Alex Woodward20 November 2021 16:54

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Donald Trump Jr: Rittenhouse is ‘guilty of murdering prosecutors career’

Donald Trump Jr has accused Wisconsin prosecutors of withholding evidence and lying “repeatedly” throughout the Rittenhouse trial in a Twitter post coming to Kyle Rittenhouse’s defence on Saturday.

He said that Mr Rittenhouse is “guilty of murdering prosecutors career” after jurors acquitted him on 19 November after he was charged with homicide for fatally shooting two people and injuring another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.

Alex Woodward20 November 2021 16:27

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