Photo by Gage Skidmore

Rittenhouse’s Self-Defense Controversy

Kyle Rittenhouse was involved in a shooting during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020, where he shot three attackers, resulting in two deaths. Although he was acquitted of all charges in 2021, he continues to face efforts to paint him as a villain and penalize him for self-defense.

Civil Lawsuit Against Rittenhouse

The estate of Joseph Rosenbaum, a convicted child molester who was shot by Rittenhouse, filed a civil lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The suit demands compensatory and punitive damages for Rosenbaum’s “wrongful death” and names Rittenhouse, local sheriff’s departments, Kenosha officials, and various counties as defendants.

Rosenbaum’s Troubled Past

Rosenbaum had a crime-filled past, marked by prison time for preying on the preteen boys of women he would date, charges of domestic abuse by his fiancée, and a suicide attempt on the day of the riot.

Despite this, his estate claimed in the lawsuit that he was a peaceful protester and not a danger to himself or others, while portraying Rittenhouse as a menace who fired indiscriminately.

Rittenhouse, now 20 and residing in Texas, expressed that the lawsuits are making it increasingly difficult for him to move on and live without fear of harassment or assault due to the false narratives spread in the lawsuits. He emphasized that no one should have to continually defend their actions when they acted in self-defense.

The Day Of The Shooting

Witnesses characterized Joseph Rosenbaum as extremely aggressive before the shooting, engaging in violent and provocative behavior, and making death threats.

During the first confrontation, Kyle Rittenhouse, while trying to extinguish a fire, was approached by Rosenbaum and Joshua Ziminski. Feeling threatened and recognizing Rosenbaum as the man who had earlier threatened him, Rittenhouse fled towards safety.

Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse, who believed his escape route was blocked by vehicles and protesters. Video footage showed Rittenhouse being pursued across a parking lot by a group of people. During the chase, Rosenbaum threw a plastic bag containing personal items at Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse testified that he believed himself to be in danger and perceived Rosenbaum to be unarmed, while McGinniss, a witness, perceived that Rosenbaum and other protesters were moving toward Rittenhouse and that Rittenhouse was trying to evade them.

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