Prosecutors have charged a 17-year-old Illinois teen accused of shooting three people during a protest in Kenosha this summer with violating the curfew that night.
Kyle Rittenhouse was charged in August with multiple counts, including reckless and intentional homicide, endangerment and being a minor in possession of a firearm.
Prosecutors added violating curfew the night of the shootings to the list of charges on Monday.
The offense is a civil citation punishable by forfeiture.
U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- On 25 August 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse was chased and attacked by multiple assailants while attempting to escape them. He shot and killed two of the attackers. He wounded a third, Gaige Grosskruetz, as Grosskruetz lunged at him at close range with a loaded semi-auto handgun Grosskruetz had drawn from concealment.
The two white men Rittenhouse killed were violent felons with long criminal histories.
Rittenhouse immediately attempted to turn himself into the police but in the chaos and confusion of the ongoing riot was told to go home instead.
He turned himself in the next day in his hometown in Illinois, 15 miles from the shooting scene in Kenosha.
The prosecutors in Kenosha have ignored all the video evidence in order to charge Kyle Rittenhouse with the most significant crimes they can imply. He is charged with intentional homicide, and faces life in prison if convicted. The prosecutor is not content with these acts of political theater. Four months after the fact, Kyle has been charged with violating the curfew on 25 August 2020.
In a discussion on an Internet forum, some of the responses were satirical. Satire is always difficult to do well on the Internet.
The writers suggested the prosecutor include more charges against Kyle. They suggested he be charged with jaywalking, littering (he did not police up his brass after the shooting). One commenter suggested he be charged with loitering.
No one suggested “Disturbing the peace”. Wisconsin law specifically exempts open carry from being considered as “disturbing the peace”, but, as shots were fired when Kyle was attacked, perhaps disturbing the peace could be added.
Another outlet, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reports that 150 people were arrested for curfew violations during the 10 days of riots and protests. They report the ACLU of Wisconsin has called for all citations to be dismissed on 9 September. From jsonline.com:
The ACLU of Wisconsin on Wednesday called for Kenosha curfew violations issued during the recent unrest there to be dismissed, saying the curfew was never lawfully imposed, just announced by the sheriff.
According to the ACLU, Sheriff David Beth had no legal authority to declare a curfew on Aug. 24, the day after violence and arson broke out amidst protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Online, some suggest President Trump should pardon Kyle Rittenhouse, give the obvious political nature of the charges. Others quickly noted presidential pardons only apply to federal crimes. The crimes Kyle Rittenhouse is charged with are state offenses.
President Trump could pardon Kyle Rittenhouse’ friend, Dominick Black, who purchased the rifle he loaned to Kyle Rittenhouse on 25 August. Rittenhouse could legally possess the rifle in Wisconsin, but could not legally purchase it from a federal dealer.
It is theoretically possible for Black to be charged illegally purchasing the rifle under federal law, although the rifle was kept at his home in Wisconsin.
President Trump could preemptively pardon Black. Federal prosecutors have not shown any interest in charging Black at this point. It is not illegal to purchase a rifle and to hold it for someone who could legally purchase it later. Rittenhouse will turn 18 on 3 January 2021.
That complicates the charges, slightly.
A political Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) might decide to seek prosecution of Black under a Biden/Harris administration.
The latest charge, for a curfew violation, smacks of desperation by the prosecutors.
It is hard to see how a Kenosha jury could convict Kyle after viewing the abundant video evidence from multiple angles.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.