By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
Rittenhouse, 18, was cleared of homicide Friday after he testified that he fired in self-defense and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The verdict on the shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was reached by the jury following nearly three and a half days of deliberations.
Jury members appeared to accept Rittenhouse’s explanation that he had acted “reasonably to defend himself” amid a turbulent scene in August last year.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was then 26.
That summer of 2020 was marked with unrest across the United States following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
However, the case underscored a debate about guns and violence in the U.S.
During the trial, prosecutors and defense lawyers presented dramatically different narratives of the shootings.
The prosecution described Rittenhouse as a dangerous instigator who acted recklessly. The defense countered that he was “trying to help this community” but was attacked.
The 12-person panel agreed with the defense. It also cleared Rittenhouse of attempted intentional homicide in the shooting of Grosskreutz, a paramedic from suburban Milwaukee, who was at the protests as a medic.
And, Rittenhouse was acquitted on two counts of recklessly endangering safety and use of a dangerous weapon.
As the verdict was read, Rittenhouse began sobbing and collapsed at the defense table. Families of the victims were seen crying in court.
The verdict was expected to add to political, racial, and social tensions in the nation.
Ahead of the verdict, five public schools near the Kenosha County Courthouse said they would shift to online classes for the rest of the week in anticipation of possible violence.
The governor accused the “corporate media, Big Tech, and the Democratic Party” of attempting to convict Rittenhouse “in the court of public opinion.”
“These institutions worked together to ruin the life of a 17-year-old who was merely defending himself from violent attacks amid Democrat-enabled rioting, looting, and arson,” DeSantis wrote.
He referred to Rittenhouse’s age last summer when he shot three people, two of them fatally, with an assault rifle.
In the email, DeSantis also aimed at Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot and left partially paralyzed by a White police officer.
DeSantis called Blake a “scumbag” who was “justifiably engaged” by police. However, DeSantis directed much of his anger at the media and Democrats, saying, “this case should never have been brought in the first place.”
He said Americans should fight “against those who seek to eliminate our right to defend ourselves and our communities.”
Amid the turmoil, prayer rallies have been held in several parts of the United States amid mounting concerns with churches about what they view as America’s spiritual challenges ahead.
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