Rittenhouse not guilty in Kenosha fatal shootings

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A Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on Friday, siding with the teenager’s claims that he acted in self-defense during the chaotic night in Kenosha last summer that left two men shot dead and a third wounded.

The case quickly became a political flashpoint amid the 2020 presidential campaign and months of protests against police brutality and racial injustice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, argued he was acting in self-defense and was in town to protect property and administer first aid amid intense racial justice protests ignited by the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer.

Rittenhouse cried, fell to the floor and then embraced one of his attorneys upon announcement of the jury’s verdict after more than three days of deliberations. Judge Bruce Schroeder, who himself garnered scrutiny during the trial at several points, thanked the jury at the conclusion of the verdict.

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