Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all charges after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings. The trial became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over vigilantism.
The jury came back with its verdict after close more than three days of deliberation.
Rittenhouse, 18, could have been sentenced to life in prison if found guilty of the most serious charge against him.
All in all, he was tried on five counts: first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first degree reckless homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment.
The undisputed fact of the case is that he killed two men and wounded a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle.
The shootings took place during a night of protests over police violence against Black people in the tumultuous summer of 2020.
Rittenhouse is white, and all the people he shot were also white. The jury appeared to be mostly white, just like Kenosha, which is more white than the country as a whole.
Still, politicians have enforced their own narratives about race onto the trial.
A 17 year old white supremacist domestic terrorist drove across state lines, armed with an AR 15.
He shot and killed 2 people who had assembled to affirm the value, dignity, and worth of Black lives.
Fix your damn headlines.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) August 27, 2020
The Associated Press contributed to this article.