Vigilantes On Parade

Have you noticed in the past 10 years the amount of vigilantes hitting the streets has increased.

The individuals and groups that have been taking to the streets in the name of ‘freedom’….and the incidents of actual violence is increasing exponentially…..the most recent example is the trial of Rittenhouse….

The Wisconsin ruling clearing Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges for the killing of two Black Lives Matter activists looks to be a milestone moment for the rise of rightwing extremism in America. It’s not so much the details of this case and the spin that can be employed in interpreting the events that concerns me most. It’s the implications of the case, considering the larger political context and the threat of rising extremism.

A dangerous precedent has been set in this ruling, empowering vigilantes who believe they are deputized to enforce “the law” against perceived political enemies. Rittenhouse traveled to a city that he didn’t live in, to a state in which he is not a resident, while illegally possessing an assault rifle he had no right to wield, in the name of “protecting” property he didn’t own, in the process killing two men in violent altercations that would have been avoided entirely if Kenosha police had done their job, corralling vigilantes who looked to commit violence, and separating them from those engaged in protests or destruction of property. Even for those who are fixated on the property damage question, it’s difficult to defend Rittenhouse’s actions when he engaged in vigilante violence, with no training in dealing with conflict situations, and when responsibility for enforcing the law clearly falls on the police.

The Rittenhouse case shouldn’t be interpreted in a vacuum, as it occurred within a larger political environment in which other rightwing vigilantes seek to justify violence, and even murder, under the guise of “self-defense.” Consider, for example, the Ahmaud Arbery case in Georgia, where three white vigilantes stalked, cornered, and shot a black man who was jogging through a neighborhood – and away from them – under the false premise that he may have been responsible for a local burglary. There is no plausible scenario in which these three men can reasonably claim self-defense, when the altercation was entirely of their own initiation, when the man murdered was unarmed, and when he had nothing to do with the crime in question. And of course, there is the issue of implicit or explicit racial bias related to the defendants, which is also difficult to ignore in a country where research shows that assumptions of guilt related to violent crime are consistently racialized, with black men assumed to be the prime perpetrators in violent and other criminal acts. If the Arbery defendants successfully justify their actions as “self-defense,” then the courts will have effectively criminalized being black in America. An acquittal sends a message that white vigilantes can commit violence and murder at will against people of color who have the nerve to venture out into public, and with black men’s mere existence constituting a “threat” from which white people need “protection.”

Vigilantes on Parade: Rightwing Extremism and the Threat of National Implosion

All this does nothing to stop the social slide that has been developing over the last 25 years or so…..

None of this bode well for a orderly society and a stable nation.

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Insurrection Update #21

This subject is not covered as much as it should be….it should NEVER be ignored for any reason…..I will do my part….

The insurrectionists are losing faith in their orange god…..it is so bad that some are helping with the prosecutions…..

Two key organizers of the main Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C. are coming in from the cold.

Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lynn Lawrence are set to testify next week before the House select committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The pair will deliver testimony and turn over documents, including text messages, that indicate the extensive involvement members of Congress and the Trump administration had in planning the House challenge to certifying Biden’s election and rally near the White House where Donald Trump spoke — efforts that ultimately contributed to a massive and violent attack on the Capitol.

Among the documents the couple is providing are conversations they had with staffers and members of Congress as they planned the main rally that took place on the White House Ellipse that day. Stockton described these discussions as largely logistical and focused on planning the members’ participation in objections to the electoral certification on the House floor and various events that were staged to protest against the election. They include Instagram messages Lawrence exchanged with Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) as she tried to get him to speak at the Ellipse rally. Cawthorn, whose office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, ultimately appeared onstage at that event.

Two Jan. 6 Organizers Are Coming Forward and Naming Names: ‘We’re Turning It All Over’

Speaking of pro-Trump idiots…..and their willy nilly approaches…..

Following the 2020 presidential election, attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne had a common goal: promoting the false and debunked claim that the election had been stolen from then-President Donald Trump. But a year later, journalist Matt Shuham emphasizes in Talking Points Memo, this crowd has become an example of bitter infighting in MAGA World.

“A year ago, they were pro-Trump conspiracy theorists at the top of their game,” Shuham notes. “In early December 2020, Lin Wood and Sidney Powell addressed a packed crowd in Georgia together. Wood modeled a ‘General Flynn’ ballcap and promised to ‘fight like a Flynn,’ a tribute to Powell’s client Michael Flynn, who Wood likened to George Washington. The day prior, Flynn and Wood both endorsed martial law and a national re-vote.”

https://www.alternet.org/2021/12/lin-wood-powell/

To this I say…GREAT!

DC is suing the ‘leaders’ of the 06 January insurrection to recoup the expenses that were made trying to protect the Capitol.

More than two dozen members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are being sued by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine in an effort to recover the millions of dollars the city spent to defend the US Capitol during the January 6 attack.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington, DC, accuses 31 members of the extremist groups of “conspiring to terrorize the District” on January 6, calling their actions “a coordinated act of domestic terrorism.”
Racine is asking the court to find the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys liable for the millions of dollars officials spent dispatching officers from the Metropolitan Police Department to the Capitol, along with the enormous expense of treating the injured officers and paying for their medical leave in the months after the attack.
 
Another great bit of news….I say sue them for every dime that have…..
 
The saga continues….hopefully the cowards that participated, all of them, will get what is coming to them.
 
More observations to come……
 
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Those Civilian Deaths

There is a growing problem in our many many wars and conflicts…..civilian deaths.

Our ever expanding use of drones to attack ‘enemy’ positions the number of civilian deaths has risen…..for every single ‘bad guy’ taken out by a drone strike there is the chance that innocent civilians will be killed as well.

With every report that gets out about these deaths the US pledges to investigate the deaths…..this is to placate critics and in the end nothing is actually accomplished and the killers go unpunished.

The question needs to be asked if the US Pentagon be a good and good faith investigator?

Some of us say no…..

U.S. Central Command reported late on Friday a U.S. drone strike in Idlib, Syria against a senior member of al-Qaida, rather than against a member of the self-described Islamic State  — the ostensible legal justification the United States is even in Syria. Even more interestingly, CENTCOM claimed it “immediately self-reported” one civilian casualty that it is investigating. 

But U.S. policymakers should not defer to the military’s investigatory promises given its history of covering up or not sufficiently accounting for civilian casualties. In fact, the Associated Press has since reported that the strike wounded a family of 6, including a 10-year-old child.

It’s no coincidence the CENTCOM appears to have proactively taken responsibility for this latest civilian casualty. This incident came at the end of a week of rightful public uproar after the New York Times revealed the U.S. military’s apparent cover up of an airstrike killing 80 civilians in eastern Syria in 2019. Rather than allowing more exhaustive investigative journalism to uncover its destructive and deadly actions in Syria, it appears CENTCOM is hoping that announcing an investigation will stave off an intense media frenzy like the one following its botched August 29  drone strike in Kabul during the withdrawal from Afghanistan that killed Zemari Ahmadi, a civilian electrical engineer, and his family. 

We can’t trust the US military to investigate civilian casualties

As I was writing this draft more news has popped up……

The Pentagon won’t discipline any US personnel involved in the mistaken drone strike that killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan in August. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin accepted recommendations on the issue that did not include punishment, press secretary John Kirby said Monday. The recommendations from two commanders were mostly procedural, the Hill reports, and Kirby said, “There was no overt recommendation made by either specific to accountability and any punishment for anyone.” An independent Pentagon review had come to a similar conclusion, saying there was no evidence of negligence. Seven of the 10 people killed were children.

The aid organization that one of the victims worked for immediately criticized the decision, per CNBC. Nutrition & Education International said the US hasn’t kept its promises to provide compensation to the victims’ families and get them out of the country. “How can our military wrongly take the lives of 10 precious Afghan people, and hold no one accountable in any way?” asked the group’s president, Dr. Steven Kwon. Zemerai Ahmadi, who was killed along with his family, worked for the organization for 15 years. US commanders mistakenly thought he was an ISIS-K operative when they ordered the strike in Kabul.

“What we saw here was a breakdown in process and execution in procedural events,” Kirby said Monday, “not the result of negligence, not the result of misconduct, not the result of poor leadership.” Austin previously had called the drone attack a “horrible mistake,” though the Defense Department at first called it a “righteous strike.” US operations have killed hundreds of civilians, at least, in war zones over the past 20 years, rarely holding an individual responsible, per the Hill.

Seriously?  Just how accurate and fair is the perp given control of a death investigation?

American exceptionalism is a self-forged permission slip to engage in the kind of malicious behavior that the US would condemn from any other nation.

No one cares about the deaths of civilians…..as long as we have our Gummi vitamins and social influencers then all is well with the world.

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Insurrection Update #20

There has been a slow trickle of news around the attempts to bring the insurrectionists of 06 January to task for their attempts to undermine the government of this country.

The big question mystery has been why was there no back up for the Capitol police when the trouble started on the fateful day?

There is now some news about that situation…..

A memo by a DC National Guard officer accuses two Army generals of lying to Congress about the response to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and the Pentagon of trying to cover up the failures. Gen. Charles Flynn and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt are “absolute and unmitigated liars,” Col. Earl Matthews wrote. The issue is whether the generals held up the deployment of the Guard to the Capitol while it was under attack, Politico reports. Matthews also criticized a report by the Army’s inspector general that he said is filled with mistakes and covers for the leaders. Flynn is the older brother of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

An Army spokesperson said Flynn and Piatt “have been open, honest, and thorough in their sworn testimony with Congress and DOD investigators.” A spokesman for the inspector general’s office stood by the findings in its report, per NBC. On Jan. 6, Matthews’ job was serving as the top lawyer for Maj. Gen. William Walker, who has called for the inspector general to retract the report, which he said is inaccurate and sloppy. A House special committee is investigating the events of that day, including the Pentagon’s response. Matthews’ memo has gone to the panel.

Matthews said Piatt and Flynn, on a conference call that afternoon, argued that sending uniformed military personnel to the Capitol would not look good and suggested picking up DC police officers’ traffic duties so they could go instead. The two generals then recommended putting the Guard on standby, which the DC Guard’s timeline supports. Piatt later provided a written answer to a House panel saying, “At no point on January 6 did I tell anyone that the DC National Guard should not deploy directly to the Capitol.” Matthews says that statement was false.

I hear the news trying to play down the possibility of a return to the days of incitement….that is possible put not until the Orange Man from Florida is sidelined…..why do I say this?

Donald Trump has convinced tens of millions of Americans that the White House was stolen from him, and a significant number of them are ready to use violence to take back what he lost.

Nearly 70 percent of all Republicans believe the election was stolen from Trump, according to recent polls, but researchers found that 4 percent of Americans, or about 10 million adults, agreed that violent protest was worth the risk — but that number doubled when they were asked whether violence was justified to return Trump to the presidency, reported The Atlantic.

“This really is a new, politically violent mass movement,” said researcher Robert Pape, who studies political violence. “This is collective political violence.”

https://www.rawstory.com/trump-insurrection-2655927564/

Breaking news….a US Congressman talks of insurrection with ‘shock troops’…..

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Thursday talked with conservative broadcaster Steve Bannon about a plan to use “4,000 shock troops” to take over the jobs of federal government employees.

Bannon has previously said that the so-called “shock troops” need to be prepared prior to Republican control of the executive branch.

“People didn’t like that Donald Trump raised his voice but sometimes you’ve got to raise your voice to raise a ruckus and to raise an army of patriots who love this country and will fight for her,” Gaetz said on Bannon’s War Room program. “We’re going to operationalize the performance to go right after the people who are imposing the vaccine mandates, who are enriching themselves and who are selling out the country.”

“Understand, this is a theory of governing,” Bannon agreed. “It’s fresh and it’s new. This is Trumpism in power. That’s when we went to the 4,000 shock troops we have to have that’s going to man the government. Get them ready now. Right? We’re going to hit the beach with the landing teams and the beachhead teams and all that nomenclature they use when President Trump wins in 2024…….or before.”

https://www.rawstory.com/matt-gaetz-steve-bannon-shock-troops/

That language should get Gaetz thrown from the floor of the House…..at least charged with incitement.

Times are getting more dangerous by the speech from the uber morons.

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Closing Thought–02Dec21

As the police shootings and killings of civilians continues to spiral out of control….there comes a story that is just so disturbing on so many levels……it involves cops and a old fart in a wheelchair……

The Tucson Police Department has swiftly distanced itself from an officer who shot dead a man in a motorized wheelchair. Police Chief Chris Magnus said on Tuesday he was “deeply disturbed and troubled” by what transpired on Monday night: Officer Ryan Remington responded to a report of a man who was allegedly armed with a knife and stole a toolbox from a Walmart. An employee there said that upon asking 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards to show his receipt for the toolbox, he revealed his knife and said “Here’s your receipt.” Police bodycam video shows Remington later going after Richards as he drove his wheelchair toward the entrance of a Lowe’s across the street.

Remington yelled at Richards to keep out of the store, then fired nine shots, striking Richards in the back and side. The Arizona Republic reports Richards was pronounced dead a short time later. The New York Times reports surveillance video from Lowe’s shows Remington handcuffing Richards, who made no movements. “His use of deadly force in this incident is a clear violation of department policy and directly contradicts multiple aspects of our use of force and training,” Magnus said in a press conference. “As a result, the department moved earlier today to terminate Officer Remington,” who has been a member of the Tucson police department for four years. KOLD reports it could take up to a week for the termination to be official.

 

Remington’s lawyer, Mike Storie, described the chain of events as “unbelievable circumstances,” saying, “This event happened roughly 24 hours ago, and we have a chief of police who has fired the officer and the mayor who is calling for his indictment,” per the Times. Storie told the AP that Remington felt he “had no nonlethal options. He did have a Taser, but in his mind, he couldn’t use it because he didn’t feel he had the proper spread to deploy it, with the wheelchair between him and Richards.”

Why is the gun the first response?

Are you saying that the cops could not subdue an old fart in a wheelchair with a pocket knife without shooting him?

This is so disgusting on many levels for me….

Do you think the firing of this officer will change anything?

I do not!

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Aubrey Vs Rittenhouse

More on the justice system ……

This time it is about the Aubrey case…..the latest trial of vigilante actions…..

After more than 10 hours of deliberations over two days, the jury has delivered its verdict in the Ahmaud Arbery case. Greg McMichael, 65 and his son Travis McMichael, 35, have been found guilty of murder in the 25-year-old Black man’s death, the New York Times reports. The McMichaels grabbed guns and chased Arbery in a pickup truck after they saw him running through their neighborhood near Brunswick, Georgia last year. William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., a neighbor who joined the chase in his truck and recorded video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery, was also found guilty of murder.

Travis McMichael was found guilty on all nine counts, including felony murder and malice murder. His father was found guilty of felony murder and all other counts except malice murder. Bryan, 52, was also found guilty of felony murder but not malice murder. All three men will face minimum sentences of life in prison and it will be up to the judge the AP reports.

More thoughts on the trial and outcome…..

  • The verdict. Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery after he saw him running through his neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, in February last year, was found guilty of malice murder and felony murder. His father, Greg McMichael, and neighbor William Bryan Jr., who helped chase Arbery down in his truck, were found guilty of felony murder. All three were also convicted on charges including aggravated assault and false imprisonment, the Brunswick News reports. The overwhelmingly white jury rejected defense arguments that the men were trying to carry out a lawful citizen’s arrest and that the younger McMichael shot Arbery in self-defense. Prosecutors said the men hunted Arbery down and killed him while he was jogging on a public road.
  • “Careful deliberation.” Bryan and the elder McMichael were found not guilty of malice murder. Georgia criminal defense attorney Page Pate tells CNN the verdict shows there was “careful deliberation.” In Georgia, malice murder means “you have an intent to kill someone,” Pate says. “Felony murder is you don’t necessarily want to kill someone but you’re committing a felony offense and someone dies as a result of it.”
  • Sentencing. The three men were taken to the Glynn County jail, where they will remain until they are sentenced, the Times reports. No sentencing date has been set. All three defendants could face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
  • Appeals planned. Lawyers for the McMichaels and Bryan say they plan to appeal. “I can tell you honestly, these men are sorry for what happened to Ahmaud Arbery,” said McMicheal attorney Jason Sheffield, per the AP. “They are sorry he’s dead. They are sorry for the tragedy that happened because of the choices they made to go out there and try to stop him.” Bryan attorney Kevin Gough, who plans to file new motions after Thanksgiving, said the team is “disappointed with the verdict, but we respect it.”

I would not get too excited for this will happen again and again…..it is far from over…..period.

This is a justice for one but how many have gone without justice for their deaths?

Vigilantism will rise….that we can wager on.

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A Few Words About Rittenhouse

I hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving and that all were safe……

First I want to apologize for being late with this post but laptop problems and posting from a tablet made it impossible for me to write this sooner….please forgive.

So some silly little teenage white boy gets a buddy to buy an assault weapon for him then is mommy drives him to a protest then he shoots and kills 2 people and injures another…then he is arrested and tried and found not guilty….that is about the short version…..

A few thoughts…..

+ After Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted for shooting three people on the streets of Kenosha, Donald (I could shoot somebody on Fifth Ave. and not lose any voters) Trump is going to have to come up with some new boast about the kind of outlandish behavior he can get away with, since this will soon become routine event in America…

+ Apparently, you can now walk down many streets in America carrying what looks like a military assault weapon. This gun might make other people nervous about your intentions. You perceive their anxiety about your gun as a potential threat to your safety & shoot them. Case closed.

+ The concept of Stand Your Ground has become a legal version of Hemingway’s a Moveable Feast–it goes wherever you go or, really, wherever your gun goes. Your ground is literally wherever you’re standing with a gun–even if it is on someone else’s street in someone else’s town with someone else’s gun…

But Rittenhouse shot white people! Doesn’t that prove he’s not a racist? No. He shot race traitors, white people protesting the police shootings of blacks. During Reconstruction some of the most sadistic murders in the South were committed against so-called Radical Republicans, Southerners who supported emancipation and black suffrage, a threat that needed to be completely neutralized before JIm Crow could be implemented.

Like many suburban kids, I was force-fed the Dick and Jane readers in kindergarten. I guess in the updated post-Rittenhouse Patriotic editions of these books all the juvenile characters in the stories will be carrying AK-47s for self-defense, except Spot the dog and Puff the cat. I can imagine an episode where Spot and Puff are kidnapped by the evil Dr. Fauci for grotesque medical experiments on a island off the coast of Africa and have to be liberated in a commando raid by Dick, Jane and Sally.

+ A reminder: 907 people have been shot and killed by police in the US this year.

All the silliness of the trial reminded me (remember I am old) of the antics and chaos of the Chicago 7 trial….

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Rittenhouse Update

The trial of the little slug Rittenhouse has been a silliness from the word go…….now it is time for the jury to retire to render a verdict…..

First the gun thing was tossed out…..

Before closing arguments began in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse Monday, the judge dismissed the charge that had been seen as most likely to result in a conviction. Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old when he killed two men and wounded a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was on trial for a misdemeanor count of possession of a dangerous weapon by someone under 18, as well as five felonies. Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the charge after the teen’s defense team argued that RIttenhouse could be covered by an exemption in the Wisconsin law if the AR-15-style rifle he used wasn’t short-barreled, NBC Chicago reports.

Prosecutors conceded that the rifle wasn’t short-barreled. Schroeder said he believed the statute was poorly written. “I have big problems with this statute, I’ve made no bones about that from the beginning,” the judge said, per the Hill. The charge carried a maximum sentence of nine months in jail and a $100,000 fine. Rittenhouse still faces the five felony charges, including two counts of homicide. Prosecutors have asked Schroeder to allow the jury to consider lesser charges if they acquit the 18-year-old on the more serious counts.

Rittenhouse’s defense team has claimed he shot the men in self-defense. In his closing arguments Monday, prosecutor Thomas Binger argued that Rittenhouse, who traveled 30 miles to Kenosha from his home in Illinois, was not “protecting his home or his family” on the night of Aug. 25, 2020, and had failed to “exhaust all reasonable means of escape” before opening fire, CNN reports. The jury is expected to start deliberating Monday. Some 500 National Guard troops are on standby outside Kenosha.

And now the judge has given is statement and instructions to the jury…..

Kyle Rittenhouse’s fate is up to the jurors now, Judge Bruce Schroeder told them Monday evening, saying their job is to “determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty as to each of the offenses charged or submitted.” A prosecutor had the last word during the closing arguments phase of Rittenhouse’s homicide trial, CNN reports, telling the Wisconsin jury: “He’s guilty. Thank you.” Rittenhouse killed two men and wounded another during protests in Kenosha.

Schroeder warned the jurors against outside influences. “You will disregard the claims or opinions of any other person or news media or social networking site,” he said. “You will pay no heed to the opinions of anyone—even the president of the United States or the president before him.” Jury deliberations are scheduled to begin Tuesday morning. Jurors will work from a 36-page document spelling out the statutes and factors they must consider when deliberating each count against Rittenhouse, per the Washington Post. They’re charged with reaching a unanimous verdict on each of the five felony counts.

The outcome will be groundbreaking and used to defend other murderers…..I say there may be a mistrial because the jury cannot come to an unanimous decision.

Personally I say burn his ass and make him pay for his actions.

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The Best Defense

That refers to the judge in the Rittenhouse trial….you know that little snot nose shit that killed protesters…oh wait the judge says they are not victims but rioters……now the judge is considering the motion by the defense for a mistrial….

Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense team asked the judge to declare a mistrial Wednesday after the teen took the stand in his trial in Kenosha. Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi accused lead prosecutor Thomas Binger of “prosecutorial overreach” with a line of questioning about the teen’s silence in the months before the trial, the Hill reports. With the jury out of the room, Judge Bruce Schroeder chastised prosecutors for the line of questioning and for an apparent reference to a cellphone video from weeks before the shooting, in which Rittenhouse said he wished he had his gun so he could shoot people outside a CVS, the New York Times reports. The judge disallowed the video in a pretrial hearing.

Schroeder said he would consider the motion, but he allowed Binger to resume cross-examination after warning: “There better not be another incident.” Earlier, Rittenhouse said: “I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” after taking the stand. The judge had to call a recess of around 20 minutes after the 18-year-old broke down in tears while describing the events of Aug. 25 last year, when he killed two men and wounded a third during protests in the Wisconsin city, the Times reports. Rittenhouse testified that the first man he shot, Joseph Rosenbaum, had sworn at him and threatened to kill him earlier that night, the AP reports.

He began sobbing after saying Rosenbaum had “cornered him” in a parking lot. Rittenhouse testified that he thought a plastic bag Rosenbaum threw at him was a chain he had seen the man with earlier. Before opening fire, “I remember his hand on the barrel of my gun,” Rittenhouse testified. A forensic pathologist testified Tuesday that Rosenbaum was shot four times at close range. Earlier Wednesday, Rittenhouse testified that he hadn’t been looking for trouble when he went to Kenosha, around 20 miles from his home in Antioch, Ill. He said he wanted to protect property from rioters and help the injured.

The teen—who used a semiautomatic rifle a friend had bought on his behalf because he was 17 years old at the time—said he “didn’t intend to kill” Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, who hit him with a skateboard. “I intended to stop the people who were attacking me,” Rittenhouse said, per CNN. Rittenhouse testified that he shot Gaige Grosskreutz, who survived, after seeing a pistol in his hand. Legal experts say a conviction on homicide and attempted homicide will depend on whether jurors believe the teen’s claims of self-defense, the Washington Post reports. He also faces a charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under the age of 18.

Looks like this slug of humanity may well walk on the murder charges…..maybe if he were black he would be made to pay for the crimes he committed.

Just another fine example to the justice system inequalities in this country.

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