We're into the fourth day of jury deliberations in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager charged with killing two people and wounding a third during violent protests in Kenosha last year after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The defense and prosecution gave closing arguments Monday and the jury began deliberation Tuesday.
Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with counts of intentional, reckless and attempted homicide and reckless endangerment. A misdemeanor charge of possessing a firearm as a minor was dismissed Monday, and a curfew violation charge was dismissed last week.
Check below for updates as Journal Sentinel reporters and photographers cover the trial. You can also read about what happened on day one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 and 11 of the trial and jury deliberations.
Rittenhouse will appear on Tucker Carlson's show Monday night
Kyle Rittenhouse isn't wasting any time going on national TV after a jury found him not guilty to all charges Friday.
The 18-year-old will give Tucker Carlson of Fox News an exclusive interview.
A portion of the interview will air on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" at 7 p.m. Monday.
The rest will air as part of a documentary on Tucker Carlson Originals on FOX Nation in December. The documentary will also feature behind-the-scenes access to Rittenhouse and his defense team, according to an email from a Fox News Media spokesperson.
In the courtroom Friday, Rittenhouse broke down and collapsed in his chair after the acquittal verdict. His lead defense attorney Mark Richards told the media Rittenhouse was on his way home "to get on with his life."
— Chris Kuhagen
Supporters of Jacob Blake, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber react to acquittal verdict
Family, friends and supporters of Jacob Blake as well as loved ones of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber spoke to the media shortly after the verdict was announced.
“The themes of this event is heal Kenosha, reimagine Kenosha. Because we know the necessity to drive our community forward, we realize the institutions are racist, the institutions are sick and they need to be rebuilt, they need to be torn down, reformed and restructured,” said Kyle Johnson of Black Leaders Organizing Communities.
“If one person’s life or two person’s lives don’t matter then none of our lives matter. ... it feels like the victims' lives don’t matter and I don’t think that’s acceptable. And that’s what’s on my heart today,” said Kariann Swart, fiancé of Rosenbaum.
“It’s hard to find the exact words to say in this situation … I’m not surprised, we know that this system is a failure,” said Hannah Gittings, girlfriend of Anthony Huber.
“I’m not surprised of the outcome of this verdict for Anthony Huber, the love of my life. He had been (expletive) by this system in every single way from his birth to his death.”
“I miss Anthony every single day. Every day I wish I could come home to him and unload some of this weight that’s on my shoulders but I can’t, because he’s dead. And now this system is telling me that nobody needs to answer for that, and I have a problem with that."
Jacob Blake's uncle, Justin Blake, said: “We are demanding that Jacob Blake’s case be reopened. We turned a red state blue, we marched from Kenosha to Milwaukee."
“We understood that when (President Joe Biden) came down here to speak to my brother and the rest of the family that he was going to enact change … but what actually happened was the DOJ, under a Democratic president, said it was OK to shoot a young man seven times in the back in front of his three children, paralyzing him to this day. And I’m telling you, Joe Biden we're coming for you, sister (Vice President Kamala) Harris we're coming for you. We’re not going to stop, there’s not going to be a place you can go that we don’t show up."
Mayor Tom Barrett calls for peace but that the verdict raises 'grave concerns' for justice
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the trial and verdict raised “grave concerns” for justice.
“How can we as a society tell an individual, put yourself in a place that's inherently dangerous, and you can kill someone?” said Barrett, adding that changes in state law are necessary to make it clear that underage people cannot bring semi-automatic weapons into public.
He also called for peace in Kenosha and Milwaukee following Friday’s not guilty verdict.
Mixed reactions outside Kenosha courthouse
It was vindication for some outside the Kenosha County Courthouse Friday. For others, it was a tragedy.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s supporters viewed the court proceedings as proof that he was defending himself. They called on others to respect the verdict and have trust in the courts.
Those who thought Rittenhouse was guilty decried the verdict, calling it a “mockery” of justice. They pointed to possible biases in the justice system and to the fact the jury was almost entirely white.
“I’m very disappointed and I expected a different verdict,” said Veronica King, secretary of the NAACP’s Kenosha branch. “We need to demand diverse juries.”
Tanya McLean, a Kenosha resident, said the verdict makes her fear for the safety of her Black sons and grandsons.
“None of us are safe. It shows that we can be gunned down in the streets and there are no consequences,” she said.
Also on the steps of the courthouse Friday was Lynn Lyons, a Chicago resident who said she watched the trial from beginning to end.
She said she “totally agreed” with the verdict and that Rittenhouse had acted in self-defense, protecting himself from aggressors.
She said had she been in Rittenhouse’s position she would have done the same thing.
She doesn’t see any link between this case and that of the three men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, in which self-defense has also been invoked during that ongoing trial.
She thinks those men are guilty, but that Rittenhouse’s case was very different.
She trusts that the jurors “looked at everything.”
“They took four days,” she said.
Tensions were running high outside the courthouse through much of the afternoon. At times, the two different camps got in each other’s faces, shouted at each other, called each other names and cursed. The crowd had largely thinned out by around 3 p.m.
— Sarah Volpenhein
Former DA weighs in on the verdict
Paul Bucher, former district attorney for Waukesha County, appeared on CNN Friday afternoon to discuss the verdict.
He said he "would have done things differently" when it came to how the Kenosha County DA's Office handled the case.
"I think he overcharged the case, to be honest with you. He overtried it, he overcharged it," Bucher said on CNN.
Bucher said he would have only brought three counts forward.
"This is a straight-up homicide case; two counts of first degree, one count of attempted first degree, recognizing you're in for the fight of your life on self-defense," Bucher said.
Bucher served as the district attorney for the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office from 1988 until 2006. He now works as an attorney for Bucher Law Group, LLC.
He also said he believes Rittenhouse is neither a "hero" nor a "vigilante."
"If anybody that looks at this case and walks away and says this is a signal that I can go to these mass protests, armed, they are in for a huge surprise," Bucher added.
— Evan Casey
Physical altercation breaks out in front of courthouse
Around 2 p.m. outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, a Rittenhouse supporter and a woman wearing a headscarf launched into a back-and-forth that veered off course fast.
The man claimed Rittenhouse was vindicated by the verdict, but the woman challenged him about racial inequities in the criminal justice system. The man responded by making disparaging remarks about the Prophet Muhammad and told the woman to go back where she came from.
A crowd quickly formed around the two after the man tried moving the woman away and the woman tried grabbing at the man’s sign.
Another protester stood between the two as the woman tried to carry on the conversation and the man began shouting other remarks supporting Rittenhouse and disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement. At one point he used the N-word without directing it at anyone.
He eventually walked away from the crowd.
By 3 p.m., the crowd outside the courthouse began to thin.
— Elliot Hughes
Woman collapses in front of the courthouse
A woman having a medical emergency collapsed in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse and was taken away in an ambulance about 1:30 p.m. Friday.
People near the woman who collapsed called for a medic, and a few minutes later about a half dozen sheriff’s deputies left the courthouse to assist.
They formed a ring around the woman and pushed the crowd back.
In the moments before the medical emergency, emotions were running high on the steps of the courthouse. Verbal arguments broke out between supporters and detractors of Kyle Rittenhouse.
As the crowd waited for an ambulance, someone said there was an EMT in the crowd and called for the officers to let the EMT through to the patient.
“They don’t give a [expletive] about the people,” a woman shouted when they didn’t let the person through.
“Why did they even leave the courthouse” if they didn’t care, responded a man nearby.
“What can an EMT do to help a person having a seizure,” an officer said.
The ambulance arrived in a little under 10 minutes and the woman was taken away.
— Sarah Volpenhein
Jacob Blake's uncle calls verdict a 'total mockery' of justice
Justin Blake, uncle of Jacob Blake, stood on the steps of the courthouse and decried the verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse’s case shortly after it was read.
“This is an attack on our democracy,” he said. “This was a total mockery of what justice should be. There’s no way he should be going home.”
Bishop Tavis Grant, an East Chicago activist with the Rainbow Push Coalition, spoke alongside Blake, a crowd of cameras and reporters surrounding them.
Grant called the judge biased and said the jury should have been sequestered.
“The fight goes on for equal protection under the law. There’s no way in a land of laws that you can take the lives of two innocent people and then not be held accountable for it,” he said.
Blake said they would keep fighting for justice reform.
— Sarah Volpenhein
The public reacts to the verdict on the steps of the Kenosha County Courthouse
On the steps of the Kenosha County Courthouse as the verdict was read Friday, there were no big outbursts and there was no violence.
But emotions still ran high with arguments flaring left and right after the jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts.
“It’s bull (expletive),” one man shouted, upset that not even a conviction for a misdemeanor count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor could be secured.
“If you don’t like it, (expletive) off,” another man shouted from 20 yards away.
Dozens of protesters huddled around their phones as the charges were read early Friday afternoon. As soon as the verdict became clear, journalists surrounded Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer, setting off days of civil unrest that would envelope Rittenhouse and the three men he shot.
“From day one, the judge has had his hand on the scale,” Blake said.
He said a Black man in Rittenhouse’s position never would have received the treatment he did following the shooting, noting that police drove by him as he tried to give himself up and members of the public raised millions of dollars to bail him out of jail before the trial.
“Who came to his rescue? This racist-(expletive) government,” Blake said.
Nearby, a man named Brandon who said he drove to Kenosha from California stood up on top of the railing of the steps and at times talked over Blake, drawing rebukes from the crowd.
He held a sign saying “Free Kyle! The USA is still worth defending” and said Rittenhouse deserves his freedom, calling him a hero not just for defending himself, but for cleaning graffiti after a night of civil unrest following Jacob Blake’s shooting.
“Kyle was a hero well before he raised a gun in self-defense,” the man said. “He made a split-second decision and he made it right.”
Meanwhile, two loved ones of Anthony Huber, one of the men who was shot and killed by Rittenhouse, were among the first recognizable faces to exit the courthouse following the verdict. Hannah Gittings, his girlfriend, and Susan Hughes, his great aunt, were followed by dozens of reporters and a few protesters who cluttered around them and asked repeatedly how they felt about the verdict.
They said next to nothing as they slowly made their way to their vehicle.
— Elliot Hughes
Kyle Rittenhouse has been found not guilty on all five charges
A jury has found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts in the fatal shootings of two people and the wounding of another during protests last summer in Kenosha.
He was charged with five offenses, including two for first-degree intentional homicide.
The announcement came shorty after noon.
— Chris Kuhagen
Verdict has been reached
Judge Bruce Schroeder has announced that a verdict has been reached in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial.
The verdict is expected to be read shortly.
— Elliot Hughes
What happens if the jury is deadlocked?
No one really knows why the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial is entering a fourth day of deliberations.
One common speculation is that it is deadlocked. If that's the case and the jury sends a note to that effect to Judge Bruce Schroeder, he would likely give them some form of what's called an Allen charge, urging jurors to keep trying, before concluding he must declare a mistrial.
It's named after the case in which it was first used, in Massachussetts in the 19th century, and approved in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1896.
Here's a sample of the instruction as given in Wisconsin:
"The jury has been out quite a while in this case. I see no reason why you jurors are not as competent and are not as able or as likely to decide the issues of fact in this case and to decide them right, as the next jury that would be called to determine this case. I do not want you to understand that by what I say you are going to be made to agree or that you are going to be kept out until you do agree. I do want you to understand that it's your duty to make an honest and sincere attempt to arrive at a verdict. Jurors should not be obstinate. They should be open-minded. They should listen to the arguments of others and talk matters over freely and fairly and make an honest effort as fair-minded men and women to come to a conclusion on the issues presented to them. You will retire to the jury room and resume your deliberations."
— Bruce Vielmetti
Day 15 of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and day four of jury deliberations are underway as of 9 a.m. Friday.
The jury retired Thursday at 4 p.m. after seven hours of deliberations. Jurors have spent roughly 23 hours deliberating since Tuesday morning.
Still hanging over the deliberations are two requests from the defense for a mistrial. One of those requests was made with prejudice, which means if it were granted by Judge Bruce Schroeder, Rittenhouse could not be prosecuted again.
Schroeder said he is waiting to rule on the matter until the prosecution formally responds.
Check back here for more updates as they happen.
— Elliot Hughes
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Kyle Rittenhouse trial live updates: Tucker Carlson to interview teen