The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted on all counts in Kenosha shootings

Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two men and wounded another during a night of civil unrest in Kenosha, Wis., was found not guilty of homicide on Nov. 19. (Video: AP)

A jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts after deliberating for nearly three and a half days. Jurors in the polarizing case found Rittenhouse, 18, not guilty of homicide, attempted homicide and other charges related to the August 2020 shootings in Kenosha, Wis.

View live politics updates

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was 26 at the time. Rittenhouse testified that he had fired in self-defense and pleaded not guilty to all counts.

The trial has revived nationwide scrutiny of Kenosha, where Black residents say the same issues that fueled last year’s unrest still persist.

Here’s what to know

  • The prosecution and the defense presented dramatically different narratives of the shootings. In the prosecution’s telling, Rittenhouse was a dangerous instigator who acted recklessly. The defense, meanwhile, said he was “trying to help this community” but was attacked.
  • In a statement, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said that he and his colleagues “respect the jury verdict." "We ask that all members of the public accept the verdicts peacefully and not resort to violence,” he said.
  • Rittenhouse’s defenders saw justice at work. His critics recorded one more count against a fundamentally unfair legal system.
  • The parents of Anthony Huber, one of the men shot and killed by Rittenhouse, said they are “heartbroken and angry” over the acquittal. Outside the courthouse, the family of Jacob Blake called the decision a miscarriage of justice. “I don’t know how they came to the final conclusion that he’s innocent, but this is why African Americans say the whole damn system is guilty,” said Justin Blake, Jacob’s uncle.