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Kyle Rittenhouse Did No Wrong

Kyle Rittenhouse, on the night he shot three men in Kenosha

Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal team has produced an 11-minute video reconstructing events of the night of August 25, in which Rittenhouse shot three attackers in Kenosha, killing two and injuring a third. Watch the video here, for as long as YouTube allows it to stand. 

Bearing in mind that the video is certainly partisan, the close parsing of the video record of that night makes it clear, in my judgment, that Rittenhouse did no wrong.

I had no doubts about his innocence in the shooting death of the skateboarder who attacked him while he was on the ground, or in the wounding of the protester who pulled a gun on him. What I was unsure about was the first shots he fired: the ones that apparently killed Joseph Rosenbaum.

The video breaks down the scene in which Rittenhouse apparently shot Rosenbaum, starting at the 3:57 mark. What I had not seen before was Rosenbaum rushing at Rittenhouse, and trying to grab his gun.

I did not realize that someone else standing nearby fired a pistol at that moment (you can see the flash from the barrel on the video).

And I did not realize that Rosenbaum might have mistaken Rittenhouse for the person who moments before had doused a fire that Rosenbaum had helped start in a dumpster. The video shows that the man who enraged Rosenbaum by putting out the fire was wearing a t-shirt the same color as Rittenhouse’s. It doesn’t matter, I guess, in whether or not Rittenhouse was justified in shooting Rosenbaum, but it does provide a possible motive for Rosenbaum attacking Rittenhouse.

Anyway, watch the thing, though again, keep in mind that this is a short clip created by his defense team. I look forward to the facts coming out at trial, but on the basis of this clip, it seems to me that Kyle Rittenhouse ought never to have been charged. True, a 17-year-old should not have been out in a riot, even though he meant well, but that does not mean that he should have been charged in these shootings. Kyle Rittenhouse is not the enemy of civilization; the people he shot were, and are. No law-abiding citizen has anything to worry from the Kyle Rittenhouses of the world. The men he shot were part of a mob that was vandalizing, burning, and looting.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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