Wisconsin v. Rittenhouse

Project Details

Party(ies) Involved

Kyle Rittenhouse, Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, Gaige Grosskreutz, State of Wisconsin


Kenosha, WI

Time Frame

August 25, 2020-November 19, 2021

Project Overview

While responding to a 9-1-1 call of domestic disturbance on August 23, 2021, police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot Jacob Blake. Blake had an outstanding warrant against him for domestic violence. At the time he was shot, he was defying police instructions to stop, and was apparently reaching for a knife. The incident was investigated; no charges were brought against police.

Activists, media, and politicians immediately claimed Blake (who is black) was the victim of racist, overzealous policing. Rioters, looters, vandals, and arsonists put Kenosha under siege. Authorities initially abrogated their responsibility to maintain order. Residents asked for volunteers to keep order.

Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year old whose father (his parents are divorced) and extended family lived in Kenosha, volunteered. On August 25, while Rittenhouse was patrolling city streets and offering first aid, rioters attacked him. Rittenhouse shot three of them, killing two and injuring the other. The state charged him with intentional murder and attempted murder, and tried him as an adult. On November 19, 2021, after a ten-day trial, the jury acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges.

Our Involvement

Legal Insurrection reported extensively about the public disorder in Kenosha following the Blake incident; the prosecution of Rittenhouse for stepping into the void the government created by abrogating its responsibility to keep order in the streets; and the role of “activists”, politicians, media, and high tech in fostering and furthering violence, assassinating Rittenhouse’s character, and choking off his efforts to raise funds for his defense. LIF also provided independent coverage of the trial.

Media Coverage

LIF devoted a great deal of coverage to this dispute. A listing of articles may be found here. Some of the highlights are listed below.

Here’s a sampling of our background coverage, including the rioting and results of local and federal investigations of police handling of the 9-1-1 call during which Blake was shot:

Fuzzy Slippers, Kenosha, WI Under Siege By Antifa/BLM Rioters, LEGAL INSURRECTION (August 25, 2020).

Kemberlee Kaye, CNN describes Kenosha riots as “Fiery but peaceful protests” as reporter stands in front of building engulfed in flames, LEGAL INSURRECTION (August 27, 2020).

Samantha Mandeles, “Free Palestine” Vandalism of Kenosha Synagogue During Riots is Par for the BLM Course, LEGAL INSURRECTION (September 13, 2020).

William A. Jacobson, Kenosha Prosecutor – No Charges Against Police In Jacob Blake Shooting (Update), LEGAL INSURRECTION (January 5, 2021).

Fuzzy Slippers, Feds Not Filing Charges Against Police Officer Who Shot Knife-Wielding Jacob Blake, LEGAL INSURRECTION (October 9, 2021).

Stacey Matthews, Former NY Times Reporter Says Paper Held Damaging Kenosha Riots Article Until After 2020 Election, LEGAL INSURRECTION (November 21, 2021).

Trial coverage began with this preliminary report:

Andrew Branca, Rittenhouse Trial: What to Expect As Trial Starts Monday, LEGAL INSURRECTION (October 31, 2021).

William A. Jacobson, The media framed Kyle Rittenhouse — and won’t come clean even after the prosecution’s case falls apart, NEW YORK POST (November 11, 2021).

William A. Jacobson, Media Malpractice Has Come Full Circle In Kenosha – My Column In The NY Post, LEGAL INSURRECTION (November 11, 2021).

LIF’s trial coverage ended with a November 21, 2022 online event:

William A. Jacobson, VIDEO – Rittenhouse Post-Verdict Analysis, LEGAL INSURRECTION (November 28, 2021). Video from the November 21 program is embedded within the article.

Post-trial coverage has included these items:

William A. Jacobson, GoFundMe Finally Will Allow Kyle Rittenhouse To Raise Money For His Defense Now That He No Longer Needs A Defense, LEGAL INSURRECTION (November 19, 2021).

Mike LaChance, Kyle Rittenhouse: “It was the Right to Self-Defense on Trial,” LEGAL INSURRECTION (November 23, 2021).

Mary Chastain, Leftist Student Orgs at Arizona State Demand School ‘Withdraw’ Kyle Rittenhouse, LEGAL INSURRECTION ( November 29, 2021).