Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial for multiple charges, the most serious of which is first degree intentional homicide. On August 25, 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse ended-up shooting three people, killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz. Prosecutors have argued that video shows Rittenhouse provoked the encounter with Rosenbaum by pointing his rifle at him. They have further argued that pointing the rifle is what prompted Rosenbaum to chase Rittenhouse into the used car lot. I don’t know about you, but if someone pointed a rifle at me, my response would be to get away from them, not to chase them. Rittenhouse has testified that he didn’t point his rifle at Rosenbaum before the chase, so it appears debatable as to when Rittenhouse first pointed his rifle.
Wisconsin’s self-defense law allows someone to use deadly force only if “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.” So, the Jurors must evaluate whether Kyle Rittenhouse’s fear for his life was legitimate and reasonable, and if so, whether the use of deadly force was reasonable, or whether he acted recklessly when he shot his rifle at three people that night. One would have to review the unaltered video footage for themselves to form an opinion, if you were in Kyle Rittenhouse’s boots that night, would you have feared for your life?
This is similar with other states that do not have stand your ground statutes, such as Virginia. Have you observed the video (see attached High Res Video of Incident) that has been widely circulated on media, the video shows Rittenhouse running from Rosenbaum, who is now known to have been armed, per testimony. The prosecution asserts that Rittenhouse had waived his right to self-defense by stating that he pointed his AR15 at Rosenbaum. Yet the video shows that Rittenhouse is running away from Rosenbaum before the shooting occurred. So the question is, would you be in fear for your life if someone armed was chasing you?
Then Rittenhouse attempts to leave the area and is chased by others down the street. The following video shows a group attacking Rittenhouse as he is trying to get away from the situation. He is knocked to the ground, and they begin to assault him. Is Rittenhouse in fear for his life at this point?
(See attached video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLtx4yymt6s)
With this information, there are many scales and charts for levels of force that can be used in decision making. This is something that all trained practitioners should have at their fingertips, but most civilians have little knowledge on. The following chart shows the very basic Escalations that are used in use of force training and decision making:
If you use this chart and the videos, then what is your answer to our previous question? We all must be accountable for our actions on all sides. Please email us with your answer to these questions at: blog@HPicertifiedtrainingacademy.com