Kyle Rittenhouse displayed an “ugly cry” in the courtroom this week as he testified as a witness in the trial for homicide that took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
He began to falter on the stand, describing the fateful August night of last summer, when he, as a 17-year-old, was patrolling the streets of a town armed with a rifle, except for occasional glances in the direction of the jury. His quivering lips then came the sobbing that kept him from escaping his attorney’s questioning, as he described his response to the rest of the evening. The defendant started to falter on the stand, describing that fateful August night of last summer, amid protests for racial justice and the charges of two men’s killings.
Recounting how he felt his life was in danger, he was defending himself; Rittenhouse wasn’t weeping with regret. According to Grosskreutz’s testimony, he offered his much-awaited testimony in the case on Wednesday, recalling the night he shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, causing the bicep of medic Gaige Grosskreutz to be “vaporized” and resulting in death. Rittenhouse’s blubbering became the headline of the day after the defendant’s testimony.
In his personal murder case, Rittenhouse has portrayed himself as the solitary sufferer. Currently, with his display of emotions, defense lawyers could label them as “thieves” or “fire starters,” and Judge Bruce Schroeder ruled last month that prosecutors cannot classify Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz as “victims,” following the trial and pretrial procedures that had already triggered a nationwide uproar.
In the courtroom, the accused recollected, “I’m going to be assisting individuals,” because he believed he wouldn’t require the bulletproof vest provided by the Grayslake, Illinois, police department’s Explorer program for young individuals interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement. He also attested that he passed on the vest to a companion. That evening, he and a companion agreed to offer armed protection for the business after he purportedly expressed “sympathies” to a business owner for cars that were set ablaze the previous night. Earlier that day, Rittenhouse clarified why he had journeyed the approximately 20 miles from Illinois without shedding tears.
Last summer, the killings of three children in front of their father, Jacob Blake, a Black motorist, by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, caused a national shockwave. The incident led to tense exchanges, clashes, and arrests as millions of Americans took to the streets to protest racial injustice. The demonstrations highlighted the emotional powder keg surrounding the issue, and the teenager from Illinois now faces charges of attempted homicide, along with three other charges related to the shooting on August 25, 2020.
The debate this week has centered on whether the spectacle of the defendant’s authenticity was real or not, and whether it was a performance or not. Many white men accused of violent crimes and misconduct, like Rittenhouse, often appeal to the emotions of certain white American members of the public who can imagine only the faces of their sons being born to mothers who look like mine. However, it is not just these certain white American members of the public who will decide his fate, but also his fellow citizens, the 12 white men. And it was not just tears that Rittenhouse appealed to them with, but also his emotion, which they often see too.
Rittenhouse also exhibited similar behavior, taking advantage of his privilege and using his voice to express his anger. During Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, Rittenhouse’s reaction was compared to Kavanaugh’s sanctimonious and angry response to credible allegations of sexual assault made by Christine Blasey Ford. Rittenhouse’s sobbing and limited, toxic perspective on manhood, which aligns him conspicuously with the right-wing political ideology prevalent in modern America, further emphasizes the evidence of his alignment with the “blue lives matter” crowd.
Traditionally, conservatives have not typically been bedfellows, especially when it comes to common conceptions of manhood and vulnerability. In public, we may be unfamiliar with seeing men and boys exhibit emotions, so there may be a tendency to say nothing and feel discomfort as we observe their display of emotions. The prosecution noted a number of false claims, including the false claim that he was an EMT, during Wednesday’s press conference. In the role of a medic and police officer, he went to Kenosha with at least one mission, being characterized generously as someone who idolized law enforcement. When you make decisions and become an adult, there is a particular privilege in being considered a “boy”.
“The reason he believed he chose the AR-15-style rifle, instead of a handgun, was because it appeared impressive. Legally, he was underage to possess the weapon he utilized to commit the murder. Rittenhouse’s display of emotion during his testimony ought to be seen as a condemnation of his actions, rather than a justification for them. Nevertheless.”
I spoke with legal experts who judged Rittenhouse’s testimony to be positive for him because he must have both ways: admitting the facts of the shootings and showing that Rittenhouse was a good guy that night, and that he feared for his life. If Rittenhouse can convince the jury that his actions were provoked by the conflict and that he had no credible claim of self-defense, it is reasonable to doubt that the court will tell him or them either sufficient created time.
The expectation that they could secure an acquittal and not have any tears — (Rosenbaum shooting the prior to Rittenhouse allegedly threatened when he was armed) is false. They wouldn’t be able to catch Rittenhouse’s false claim that Rosenbaum was armed when he threatened him, and they wouldn’t receive the same sympathy. The same act wouldn’t be committed by another 17-year-old white individual who isn’t presumed reasonable, due to the accusation of melodramatics and resentment. Rather than treating young white men like cautionary tales or sob stories, our legal system tends to treat them with caution. This trial is shedding light on a few problems, however, the problems bigger than Kyle Rittenhouse are the problems of American jurisprudence.
It seems like a minor marvel to be unjustly accused or unfairly sentenced, assuming individuals of different ethnic backgrounds even manage to survive encounters with law enforcement and live long enough to witness the interior of a courtroom. Usually, this preconceived notion is reserved for individuals of different ethnic backgrounds and is distributed by law enforcement, making them somewhat of a rarity in the American legal system. The individuals who were harmed by Rittenhouse were all Caucasian males.
Rittenhouse, who was technically underage, faces charges including possession of a hazardous weapon. It is not that they lacked the authority to do so, but rather, the incident highlights the unequal implementation of Second Amendment safeguards. The individuals patrolling the city that night, described as a self-proclaimed militia, were predominantly white men, according to multiple reports.
Is it reasonable to think that someone who is black would not have been harmed or arrested by the police when so many police officers use the defense of fearing for their life and the lives of others when they shoot someone?
This speaks volumes about the enduring perception of entitlement that white boys and men who commit illegal acts exercise. Rather than taking responsibility for his own fear, the killer simply cried about it. It isn’t just about Rittenhouse’s display on Wednesday; the negative reaction to it says a lot.
The release of a survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in March revealed that even though the percentage of black youths in detention grew wider than that of white children in 30 states, the disparity in racial incarceration has persisted since the 1980s. However, by late summer 2020, there were fewer incarcerated children in the United States than at any point since the 1980s, but racial favoritism remains one of the many cancers afflicting our legal system.
The stereotype of the ‘Black individual as a criminal’, which associates skin color with dangerousness, has shown impressive durability as time has passed. It continues to exist despite contradictory information,” stated Kim Taylor-Thompson, an emerita law professor at NYU, in May. The chronic and nonchalant mistreatment of Black children in America remains prevalent.
And for good reason, individuals feel a strong aversion towards the misuse of the leniency frequently granted to young Caucasian defendants. That’s precisely the crux of the matter. Every individual should be granted a just trial, including Rittenhouse. Even if he is found guilty, he himself cannot undo that prejudiced perception.
It wouldn’t be the situation if every life genuinely counted. If Rittenhouse has garnered support from a multitude of followers (with even a judge appearing to favor him), but Jacob Blake is now paralyzed, partly because he didn’t receive the presumption of innocence from a law enforcement officer that Rittenhouse has been given, it is remarkable that Rittenhouse has been shown leniency, although not necessarily negative.
In Wisconsin, it is alleged that an acquaintance of Rittenhouse obtained the firearm on his behalf. A prior iteration of this narrative indicated that Kyle Rittenhouse had acquired the AR-15-style rifle he utilized from Illinois. Correction, 6 pm.