Whenever a prosecutor knows that they have caught someone breaking a law red handed and decides to prosecute, they always stack the deck against them by charging them with every crime they think a grand jury is likely to indict them for. You've probably heard the saying "a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich." That saying stems from the fact that grand juries only require probably cause to charge someone with a crime, prosecutors are experts at making any act look like a crime in the eyes of grand jurors, and the defense is never present to call them out for lying. That is why criminal defendants are rarely convicted on ever count of an indictment. Usually they agree to plead guilty to just the crimes they actually committed or take it to trial and are found guilty of something that falls between total guilt and total innocence. If they plead guilty they get a lighter sentence and if they fight the charges they get more time. That is what Deputy District Attorney Angelina Gabriele and Assistant District Attorney Carli McNeill are obviously doing in the criminal complain they filed against Kyle Rittenhouse (see PDF link above this article).
The complain charges Rittenhouse with the following:
Count 1: First Degree Reckless Homicide
Count 2: First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety
Count 3: First Degree Intentional Homicide
Count 4: Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide
Count 5: First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety
Count 6: Possession of a Dangerous Weapon by a Person Under the Age of 18
The only charge that Rittenhouse is guilty of is count 6, possession of a weapon by a person under the age of 18. The rest is all the result of using that weapon to defend himself when attacked. The left is arguing that because Rittenhouse illegally possessed the gun that he cannot claim self defense. They are saying that under Wisconsin law you cannot claim self defense if you are engaged in illegal activity. We have two problems with that argument; First, people do not forfeit their right to self defense just because they are committing a misdemeanor when they are attacked; Second, the Wisconsin self defense statute does not carve out an exception for people engaged in some minor criminal activity when attacked. Wisconsin Statute 939.48 titled "Self-defense and defense of others" reads as follows:
"939.48(1) (1)A person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference with his or her person by such other person. The actor may intentionally use only such force or threat thereof as the actor reasonably believes is necessary to prevent or terminate the interference. The actor may not intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless the actor reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself."
In this case, Kyle Rittenhouse was attacked by a convicted sex offender named Joseph Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse tried to flee and only when Rosenbaum had closed within a couple feet of him did Rittenhouse open fire. That is textbook self defense under the above statute. Rittenhouse used force against another for the purpose of terminating what he reasonably believed to be an unlawful interference with his person. He used the minimal amount of force that he reasonably believed was necessary to prevent and terminate that interference. He intentionally used lethal force because he reasonably believed that such force was necessary to prevent imminent great bodily harm to himself. The same is true for the second round of shooting because in that case, Rittenhouse tried to flee, was chased by a crowd, fell down, and only when he was attacked on the ground did he open fire. That is self defense for the same reasons.
The Wisconsin self defense statute does contain a clause that may appear to exempt people engaged in criminal activity from being able to claim self defense to the untrained eye, "939.48(1m)(b) (b) The presumption described in par. (ar) does not apply if any of the following applies: 939.48(1m)(b)1. 1. The actor was engaged in a criminal activity or was using his or her dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business to further a criminal activity at the time." Leftists on social media are pointing to this as proof that Rittenhouse cannot claim self defense, but if you look closely it only exempts people engaged in criminal activity from the protections of paragraph (ar) which is an exemption from the requirement to flee. The statutes never say that you can't defend yourself while committing a crime, it just says you have the obligation to retreat if you are committing a crime.
Even if Rittenhouse intentionally engaged in "conduct of a type likely to provoke" he did not waive his right to self defense because if that provocation results in an assault that would cause a reasonable person in Rittenhouse's position to fear great bodily harm or death, they still have the right to defend themselves. They just have the added duty to do all they can to flee and Rittenhosue clearly tried his best to run away "The privilege lost by provocation may be regained if the actor in good faith withdraws from the fight and gives adequate notice thereof to his or her assailant." The only situation where self defense does not apply is when "A person who provokes an attack, whether by lawful or unlawful conduct, with intent to use such an attack as an excuse to cause death or great bodily harm to his or her assailant is not entitled to claim the privilege of self-defense." Absent a confession specifically stating the premeditated intent to provoke a response for the purpose of justifying self defense by lethal means, it is almost impossible to prove such intent. We are not aware of any statements made by Rittenhouse in support of such a claim. Without a confession, the best the government could hope to find would be some snitch claiming to have heard him make such a statement. If you know of any such snitches please let us know so that they can be profiled on our snitch list (https://copblaster.com/snitches/). There is also the possibility that the legality of that last section could be challenged since it prohibits people engaged in lawful provocative conduct from being able to claim self defense, but at the same time the premeditated provocation for the specific purpose of justifying self defense might be evil enough to uphold the statute. Upholding the statute would still come with a responsibility to make sure it cannot be applied to anyone that intentionally engages in lawful provocative conduct who then finds themselves forced to defend themselves, which is why the burden of proof needs be really high.
The only part of these events where self defense might be a problem for Rittenhouse is at the end where he fired towards the crowd after he had already gotten up off the pavement and started leaving the area. We say might be a problem because if you look closely some people in that crowd appear to have started advancing towards Rittenhouse again and that volley appeared to be suppressive fire. Suppressive fire is a tactic taught in basic training to soldiers as a means to deter an enemy from advancing or at least making them take cover. We believe the last volley was not an attempt to shoot anyone, but an attempt to deter anyone from chasing him again. Under the self defense statute that last volley appears to be reasonable force for the purpose of deterring another attempted assault on his person.
The criminal complain describes self defense in support of murder charges. That is absurd, but remember this is part of stacking the deck. The government will try their hardest to get Rittenhouse to plead guilty to some lesser set of charges that will probably include manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and possessing a firearm as a minor. They will scare him with the threat of a life sentence with the hope that he will agree to plead guilty to avoid that sentence. We hope that Rittenhouse has the courage to fight these charges and take this to trial because any reasonable judge or jury will find him not guilty of everything but the weapons charge.
Unfortunately, it is extremely rare to find reasonable judges and juries in the system today. Judges tend to make rulings for political reasons along party lines and juries vote with their hearts with no regard for the law. A liberal judge will do all he or she can to deter anyone that exercises their Second Amendment rights from defending themselves if attacked by people they know will likely be highly offended by their conduct. One major reason for that is that judges realize that a lot of people, especially highly altruistic people, lack the ability to control their emotions in situations like the one Rittenhouse walked into. Liberal judges believe that they need to neutralize the ability of anyone that knowingly puts themselves in situations like Rittenhouse did from being able to defend themselves because they know that too many people will not be able to control their emotions and those people need to be protected from the consequences of their inabilities. Juries will often vote on whether or not the defendant could have prevented the entire incident and lack the ability to categorize irrelevancies as irrelevant. The prosecutors will paint Rittenhouse as someone that went to Kenosha looking for an excuse to shoot people and that he did everything he could to provoke a response that would give him that justification. If the jury believes that they too would have wanted to chase Rittenhouse, then they will want to do all they can to deter anyone they attack from defending themselves, so they will find him guilty. That is why it is necessary to find a reasonable judge willing to dismiss charges based on the technicalities of the law because if the judge gives an emotionally charged case to a jury, the jury will more likely than not reach a decision based on their emotions.
Don't believe us? Look at the case of Jeremy Joseph Christian in Portland, Oregon (https://copblaster.com/hashtag/jeremy-christian/). Before the statist right started calling us communists for supporting Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests against police brutality, Antifa types were calling us fascists for defending someone they labeled as fascist, and that person was Jeremy Christian. Christian was attacked on a Max train by an Antifa activist in 2017 for exercising his First Amendment rights in a way he knew most passengers would consider to be highly offensive. The Antifa activist threw him on the floor twice, told him to get off the Max, and in the process committed coercion by trying compel him to leave the train out of fear that he would be injured if he stayed on the train. Christian stood his ground, took out a knife, and slashed the throats of three men. We believed that Christian was not guilty of assaulting the first man on self defense grounds, possibly not guilty of assaulting the second based on self defense grounds, and guilty of manslaughter as to the third man because Christian himself told the founder of Cop Blaster that the third man did not do anything to him. We supported manslaughter instead of murder because Christian has a dual diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We believe he was honest with the founder of Cop Blaster when he told him that he was basically on auto-pilot stabbing at anyone he perceived as a threat before he had time to think about it, so to us that appeared to be textbook diminished capacity that lowed his state of mind to a state below that necessary to commit murder. The jury found him guilty on all counts because they cared more about whether or not he is racist than the law. By the time the case went to trail, the same liberal media outlets that are calling Rittenhouse a white supremacist had convinced the public that Christian was a white supremacist. Even thought the judge stated that she did not believe that Christian boarded the train with the intention of stabbing anyone, she still gave him the maximum sentences allowed by law. When a liberal jury thinks a defendant is a white supremacist that is usually enough for them to vote guilty if given the opportunity. If Kyle Rittenhouse's jury goes in there with their minds made up based on fake news then they won't care if he was defending himself.
We of course are fully prepared to be falsely accused of being white supremacist fascists again just for insisting that the law be enforced to the letter equally. That won't stop us from defending radical leftists when the cops use excessive force against them, so we are of course prepared to be called communists by the right again.