At a pretrial hearing on Tuesday to get an expert witness cleared, the potential witness, a use-of-force expert stated that Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions during the riots in Kenosha, Wisc., in August 2020 was justified.
Rittenhouse shot three men during that rioting, two of those men, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, died from their injuries.
Expert John Black testified that video shows Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse before reaching for the defendant’s gun, Huber attacking Rittenhouse with his skateboard and attempting to wrestle away the gun, and Gaige Grosskreutz, who was injured, running at Rittenhouse armed with a pistol, according to WQAD 8.
Black testified that he studied bystander video of the three shootings extensively. He noted that Rosenbaum was chasing Rittenhouse and threw a plastic bag at him before reaching for Rittenhouse’s rifle.
“Now the firearm is a potential weapon for both parties,” Black said. “Now we have a potential wrestling match.”
Bystander video showed that after Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum, he ran down the street. At one point he stumbled and a man came out of the crowd and kicked him in the face, Black said. Rittenhouse fired at that man but missed.
A moment later Huber hit Rittenhouse in the neck with a skateboard and tried to grab Rittenhouse’s rifle, prompting Rittenhouse to shoot him, Black said. Grosskreutz approached with his hands raised in an “I surrender” motion but he had a handgun in his right hand. He backed up before he stepped forward and lowered the pistol. Rittenhouse then shot him in the arm.
Black said Rittenhouse maintained control of his rifle throughout and didn’t just spray the crowd randomly with bullets.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger argued that Black is an expert in the use of force by police, not civilians. He also questioned whether Rittenhouse would have been justified in using lethal force if he hadn’t had a gun.
Black responded that he has taught civilian self-defense courses and that Binger was presenting a hypothetical situation. But if Rittenhouse hadn’t been armed with a gun, he may not have been justified in using deadly force, Black said.
“A citizen in that position, given those indicators, would it be reasonable for them to believe they were about to be assaulted?” Black stated. “I would argue yes.”