The Rittenhouse verdict was wrong

Bella Lee, Staff Writer

On Nov. 19, Kyle Rittenhouse was overcome with emotion as the verdict was reached that he was found not guilty of all charges he faced for shooting three men, killing two of them and wounding a third, at a protest against police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse had seven charges against him that would have cost him life in prison and more if he was convicted: first degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon; first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon; attempted first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon; first degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon; possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18; and failure to comply with an emergency order from state or local government.

I don’t care that he is “just a kid” or that he did it in “self defense”: he murdered innocent people, and should be punished for doing so. The first three charges that Rittenhouse had on him were in connection with the two men he killed, while the fourth charge was in relation to the man he wounded. The two men that Rittenhouse killed were both attempting to disarm him, even using items like a plastic bag and a skateboard to protect themselves, but ultimately lost their lives in the process. The third man, while carrying a pistol, was also trying to disarm Rittenhouse. These four charges alone were enough to send Rittenhouse to prison for life and then some. Additionally, Rittenhouse tried to shoot at a fourth man, but was unable to. He was also faced with a charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor, as he was 17 years old and carrying an AR-15 at the time.

Finally, Kenosha officials had imposed an 8 pm curfew the night of the protest, and Rittenhouse was still out as midnight approached. With all of this in mind, Rittenhouse is far from innocent. When he was giving his testimony, it was blatantly obvious that he did not have an ounce of remorse. As he appeared to be crying on the stand, just about everyone could tell that they were mere crocodile tears, with LeBron James jokingly tweeting, “What tears????? I didn’t see one. Man knock it off! That boy ate some lemon heads before walking into court.” Even when he claimed self defense, ultimately his main reason of the charges being dropped, there is one thing to question: what if Rittenhouse was Black? As a white young adult, he now has the chance to walk out a free man, with no consequences to his actions. However, if he was Black, he would have easily been convicted of all charges and would never see the light of day again. Even worse, if he was Black, Rittenhouse probably would have never made it to court as he likely would have been shot dead on sight.

Kyle Rittenhouse is not innocent in the slightest. He is more than old enough to realize that his actions have consequences. He is not a hero, like Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed when announcing she was nominating him for a Congressional Gold Medal. He needs to learn that his life will never be the same. He is a murderer, and he should have been punished as such.