Opinion: Does the media owe Kyle Rittenhouse an apology?

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse’s will be remembered as one of the most disputed legal debates in American history, and certainly one of the most politicized. On Nov. 19, Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges, as the jury went ahead on the last day of deliberations. On Aug. 25, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old at the time, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber while wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This was during a riot as a result of the police killing Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man.

In the trial’s testimony, Rittenhouse declared that he was there to assist as a paramedic as well as to protect the businesses during the riots. Police precincts suggested that Rittenhouse carried an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle with him, which the evidence suggested and later proved to have been used in the shooting of the two victims and in the wounding of Grosskreutz. The defense’s argument was that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense, as FBI videos showed the defendant had been chased and shot by Rosenbaum and Huber. 

The prosecutor for Wisconsin, Thomas Binger, on the other hand, argued that the use of lethal force in such circumstances serves as evidence of how Rittenhouse endangered the life of other people at the riot. This could serve as evidence that Rittenhouse committed first-degree reckless homicide, first degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, failure to comply with an emergency order from state or local government and the use of a dangerous weapon. The prosecution made the argument that Rittenhouse should be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm since Wisconsin State Law states: Any person under 18 years of age who possesses or goes armed with a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”

Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm because Rittenhouse used a short-barreled rifle, meaning, “a rifle having one or more barrels having a length of fewer than 16 inches measured from closed breech or bolt face to muzzle or a rifle having an overall length of fewer than 26 inches,” according to section 941.28 of the Wisconsin State legislature. According to the same statute, short-barreled rifles are exempt from the law governing unlawful possession of a firearm.

For a year now, the mainstream media tried to convince the American people that Rittenhouse was not only guilty but moreover a white supremacist. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki could not give a proper answer to President Biden suggesting that Rittenhouse is a white supremacist when she answered that the president is against “vigilantes patrolling our communities with assault weapons.” 

The jury’s decision went against the media’s narrative over the past year, that Rittenhouse went to Kenosha with the intent to kill. Moreover, the mainstream media is telling the American people that our justice system is systematically racist, as seen in MSNBC’s reaction after the trial: “White supremacy maintains its cover.” With such levels of unprofessional reporting, the network continued its campaign of name-calling against an individual who was acquitted. 

There is a fundamental issue going on today in American life. The idea is that if the masses deem you guilty, then you are guilty, and if the fair and equal justice system acquits you, then the system is racist. The mainstream media and the left wanted Rittenhouse to be guilty and already had a preconceived opinion about his acts. That’s not how it should be. After all, it’s ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and not the other way around.

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