Kyle Rittenhouse, winner of a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year award in 2020, fought back tears in a Kenosha, Wis., courtroom on Friday after a jury of his peers acquitted him on all charges.
Rittenhouse, 18, was on trial for killing two men and wounding a third with a rifle during a harrowing night of anti-police rioting in August 2020. He pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree reckless homicide, and first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. The verdict indicates the jury unanimously accepted the defendant's claim of self-defense.
"I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself," Rittenhouse said during the trial, which has sparked outrage among journalists and other liberals who were openly rooting for a conviction. Authorities in Wisconsin and around the country had been preparing for riots in the event of an acquittal.
Days before the verdict was announced, Judge Bruce Schroeder banned MSNBC reporters from the courthouse after a network producer was apprehended by police for "attempting to photograph jurors."