As closing arguments begin today in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder case, SBTC is warning drivers to be prepared for social unrest and possible 2020-style riots in urban areas in the likely event Rittenhouse is acquitted.
As many Drivers who have been following this case know, 18 year old Rittenhouse is accused of murdering two rioters and injuring another that was approaching him with a gun in his hand in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020 during a Black Lives Matter protest turned riot. Rittenhouse's attorneys are arguing the then-17 year old's actions constituted "self defense" because the first man shot by Rittenhouse had threatened to kill Rittenhouse and then acted on that threat by grabbing Rittenhouse's rifle. This then caused two other individuals in the mob to attack Rittenhouse. One attacker was shot dead as he used his skateboard as a deadly instrument to beat the Rittenhouse; the other was holding a gun as he charged toward Rittenhouse at which point Rittenhouse fired his weapon seriously injuring him. Rittenhouse and all three individuals shot by Rittenhouse were all White.
Rittenhouse says he went to the riot with the intent of rendering medical aid and protecting the community from violent rioters like those that had been assaulting motorists, looting stores, and burning down buildings since George Floyd, a Black male, died while in police custody on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Kenosha riot was sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by police after Blake disobeyed police officers' commands, retreated to his vehicle, and reached for a hidden weapon. Rioters assembled based merely on the fact that Blake, a Black male, was shot without any regard for whether the police officer was justified. According to authorities, that shooting was justified and the officer was not charged.
500 Wisconsin National Guard troops are now on standby ahead of the verdict, which could come as soon as today. SBTC is advising the industry to stay vigilant given the news that some cities like Chicago have canceled previously-approved time off requests for police officers in anticipation of further potentially violent and destructive social unrest.