The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse continues to take a number of twists and turns. Yesterday, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed a curfew citation charge from the trial. Today, the teenage shooter has waived his fifth amendment and agreed to provide testimony.
"Yes, your honor," Rittenhouse told the judge as he swore in and agreed to cross-examination.
Early in Rittenhouse's testimony, he and his defense attorney established background details about who he was and how he is connected to the case. Rittenhouse told the court that he is a student at Arizona State University and has worked as a lifeguard in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He also noted that he was a member of the police explorer program and was certified to administer CPR in an emergency.
After establishing background, Rittenhouse began to dive into his recollection of what took place at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25 of last year. He claims that he traveled from his hometown in Illinois to Wisconsin with his rifle and first aid kit to administer first aid.
"I went down there to provide first aid," he said, according to CNN.
While there, Rittenhouse say he met up with others who were also seeking to provide aid and clean up graffiti throughout the city. He also explained that he had agreed to help protect a car dealership while others were protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake. As Julie Bosman of the New York Times describes it, the defense is attempting portray Rittenhouse as a "helpful volunteer." However, things did become violent as the "helpful volunteer" encountered a man by the name of Joseph Rosenbaum.
Over time, defense attorney Mark Richards began to ask Rittenhouse about his encounter with Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse claims that Rosenbaum became erratically, shouted racial slurs and threatened to kill him twice.
"Of I catch any of you f------ alone, I'll f----- kill you," Rittenhouse alleges Rosenbaum shouted.
As Rosenbaum confronted Rittenhouse, the teenage shooter says he felt "cornered." Then, things took an interesting turn. While recalling the events of the night, Rittenhouse became emotional and began crying on the stand. Schoreder called for the trial to take a brief pause as the defendant gathered himself.
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The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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