Rittenhouse Family Hopeful as ‘Truths Coming Out’ during Trial
Family of Kyle Rittenhouse is 'upbeat' as trial moves into its fourth day
The family of teenager Kyle Rittenhouse says they are feeling hopeful as his trial got underway this week as "a lot of truths are coming out" in court.
Rittenhouse is on trial for fatally shooting two armed men in self-defense when he was attacked during a Black Lives Matter riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.
His family members say they are staying “upbeat” as the trial moves into its fourth day at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Thursday, however.
"I think it’s going well,” Rittenhouse family media liaison Dave Hancock said after the court closed on Wednesday.
"I think a lot of truths are coming out right now," he added.
"They’re staying upbeat."
"They’re doing well,” Hancock said.
"It’s obviously stressful, especially reliving that for Kyle, but they’re doing okay."
Rittenhouse’s mother and both of his sisters came for the first day of the trial on Monday.
His mother and one of his sisters were present again on Wednesday.
Rittenhouse is charged with six felonies and a misdemeanor.
He has pled not guilty to charges of homicide and attempted homicide as well as unlawful possession of a firearm.
His attorneys are arguing that he shot in self-defense.
The teen, now 18, took a gun, that police say his friend illegally bought for him, and traveled from his northern Chicago suburb to nearby Kenosha on August 25 of last year when he was 17.
His aim was to defend businesses from looting and vandalism.
The city had devolved into rioting over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a white Kenosha police officer.
Rittenhouse armed himself with a Smith & Wesson M&P15, which is an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle, as well as a medical kit.
Videos played for the jury on Wednesday showed Rittenhouse being attacked and chased by armed rioters as he patrolled the downtown Kenosha area.
After someone else fired an initial gunshot, Rittenhouse opened fire and fatally shot one man who appeared in the footage to be chasing and gaining on him.
Shortly afterward, Rittenhouse tripped and fell as he was running away from protesters.
While still on the ground, he fired several more shots as he was being attacked that killed a second man and injured a third.
Rittenhouse and the three men he shot are all white.
Hancock said Rittenhouse’s family remains firm in their conviction that he fired his weapon only to defend himself.
"This is pure, unadulterated self-defense,” Hancock said.
"Everything else that the media have been reporting for the past year is noise.”
He went on to claim that many of the rumors swirling around Rittenhouse are unfounded.
"He was accused of being a white supremacist, of being in a militia, of answering a call to arms,” he said.
"None of that was true from the very beginning.
"But it didn’t stop the media from perpetuating the same sorry story about him being associated with some extremist group.
"It’s just factually untrue.”
Hancock also asserted that Rittenhouse was charged “without any meaningful investigation in the first place.”
“Had they done a meaningful investigation I believe that we wouldn’t be sitting in this courtroom right now,” he said.
During Wednesday’s trial, the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, clashed with Judge Bruce Schroeder over video evidence the prosecution wanted to play for the jury.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys objected that the person who took one of the videos of events leading up to the shooting was editorializing in his narration.
The judge argued with the prosecution for several minutes before deciding that the video could be played but must be muted for most of the time.
Hancock called the move to include the audio “par for the course” for the prosecutor “since day one of the charges.”
"The comfort that we have is we know Kyle,” Hancock said.
"And we know what he was doing, what kind of kid he actually is."