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Crime: I'm a Black Ex-Felon. I'm Glad Kyle Rittenhouse Is Free | Opinion

A look at key points in Kyle Rittenhouse closing arguments

  A look at key points in Kyle Rittenhouse closing arguments MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorneys in Kyle Rittenhouse's murder trial sparred for the last time Monday during closing arguments, with prosecutors painting Rittenhouse as an inexperienced instigator and defense lawyers insisting the Illinois man fired in self-defense. Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz during street unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020. He has claimed self-defense, while prosecutors have argued he was an inexperienced and overmatched teen who provoked violence by showing up with a rifle.

Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old found not guilty on all counts for killing two men and injuring another at a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, believes we need criminal justice reform. "I believe there needs to be change," he told Fox News host Tucker Carlson. "I believe there's a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases. It's just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone."

Kyle Rittenhouse looks back as attorneys discuss items in the motion for mistrial presented by his defense during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 17, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse has accused his former lawyers of keeping in jail for longer than necessary in an interview with Tucker Carlson. © Getty Images Kyle Rittenhouse looks back as attorneys discuss items in the motion for mistrial presented by his defense during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 17, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse has accused his former lawyers of keeping in jail for longer than necessary in an interview with Tucker Carlson.

He's right. As a Black man who spent two and a half years in federal prison, I have personally experienced the injustice in our criminal justice system. But as the political divide over Kyle Rittenhouse demonstrates, we seem less intent on effectively addressing our problems and more concerned with creating narratives that reinforce our preconceived views.

Rittenhouse case raises question: What makes a fair trial?

  Rittenhouse case raises question: What makes a fair trial? MADISON, Wis. (AP) — At one point, the 18-year-old murder defendant stood behind the seated, black-robed judge and peered over him to review evidence. At another, on Veterans Day, the judge led the jury and others in the courtroom in applause for veterans just as a defense witness who had served in the Army was about to testify. And as the case neared its conclusion, the judge permitted the defendant to draw numbers from a raffle drum to determine which jurors would serve as alternates — creating the appearance, however small, that the defendant was helping to administer his own trial.

You can see this in the response to the police shooting that sparked the protests that led to Rittenhouse's trial: the shooting of Jacob Blake. After watching the full video of the police shooting, I was left with more questions than answers about how his story was being portrayed. Jacob Blake was harassing his girlfriend, a Black woman who had previously accused him of sexually assaulting her. She called the police, and when they arrived, Blake physically fought with them. Then he went to his car and reached for a knife before being shot—four times in the back and three times in the side.

The Left saw Jacob Blake as the victim of a racist police force hunting Black men. The Right saw a guiltless officer unworthy of investigation. Both stories lacked the complexity of reality.

Kyle Rittenhouse trial: Jury still deliberating verdict as judge considers mistrial over drone video

  Kyle Rittenhouse trial: Jury still deliberating verdict as judge considers mistrial over drone video Jurors in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial were to deliberate for a third day while the judge considers a request from the defense for a mistrial. Your browser does not support this video A key piece of evidence in the prosecution's case — a drone video that shows Rittenhouse fatally shooting the first man he fired at on the night of Aug. 25, 2020 — was called into question Wednesday when Rittenhouse's defense lawyers said they received a lower quality version of the clip.

Watching the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, I observed the same pattern: Everyone saw injustice, but the two conflicting narratives also lacked nuance.

The Right saw a hero being dragged through an unjust court system, a victim of media demonization. The Left saw a white supremacist who drove "across state lines" to kill peaceful protesters demanding dignity for Black Americans.

The assumptions of both sides were proven false in the courtroom: Rittenhouse certainly made poor decisions, but that doesn't make him a criminal. Criminals are convicted in a court of law by a jury based on the available evidence. That is justice.

Huge amounts of time, energy, and money have been spent on a dysfunctional conversation that is encouraging a violent reality, instead of what we need: a better future. We should be having serious discussions about gun laws, self-defense laws, and the ability of our system to keep law and order on the streets. Because in a reality where civilian teenagers can legally walk the streets with assault rifles while the rioters loot and burn cities, people will die.

Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty of All Charges in Fatal Shooting of 2 Men At Black Lives Matter Protest

  Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty of All Charges in Fatal Shooting of 2 Men At Black Lives Matter Protest Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17, was accused of homicide for using an AR-style rifle to kill two people during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha, Wisc., last yearJurors embraced the claim that Kyle Rittenhouse was defending himself when he fatally shot two men and injured a third last year, clearing him of homicide Friday along with all related charges that included recklessly brandishing a dangerous weapon during a Black Lives Matter protest over police brutality in Kenosha, Wisc.

Our national conversation shouldn't be limited to high-profile cases such as Rittenhouse and Blake. There are vigilante murders happening every day in America, most occurring in Black communities, with innocents getting hit in the crossfire.

From the facts presented at trial, including video evidence and the eyewitness testimony of a man he shot, it seems clear that Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self-defense as defined by the law and received a fair trial. One shouldn't be labeled right-wing for affirming the legitimacy of the court's decision.

An innocent man walking free after his trial is something that we should all celebrate. It is our criminal justice system working as it should.

And I—a person who has suffered personally from racism in the justice system—am cheering it loudest of all.

I am cheering not despite the fact that many Black people in this country do not get fair trials. It's because of that: I want them to experience the same justice system that acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse. And now we have a standard to demand, one that is very public. The argument that Rittenhouse's acquittal is unjust because many Black people do not receive fair trials is saying that the only way to help the Black community is to hurt the white community. And that is a fallacy.

Rittenhouse lawyers' trial playbook: Don't 'crusade,' defend

  Rittenhouse lawyers' trial playbook: Don't 'crusade,' defend Soon after a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges against him, defense attorney Mark Richards took a swipe at his predecessors, telling reporters that their tactics — leaning into Rittenhouse's portrayal as a rallying point for the right to carry weapons and defend oneself — were not his. “I was hired by the two first lawyers. I’m not going to use their names,” Richards said Friday. “They wanted to use Kyle for a cause and something that I think was inappropriate — and I don’t represent causes. I represent clients.

I know what it is like to be mistreated as a young Black man. But putting Kyle Rittenhouse in prison will not solve the problems of Black America.

The author David Ben Moshe The author David Ben Moshe

I don't need Kyle Rittenhouse to be mistreated as well. I need us to work together to fight the real injustices of our society.

There are plenty of injustices happening in the criminal justice system. There are solitary confinement cells built for one man but housing three inmates. There are halfway houses that don't provide adequate food to ex-cons. There is a lack of adequate educational or vocational training to prepare men to work for a living after their release.

I know about these realities because I have personally experienced them. And when I see the frankly ridiculous debate over Kyle Rittenhouse, I am pained over the wasted energy. We seem to care more about our side "winning" than we do about creating a better future.

But if we divide America and tear apart liberal democracy, then we all lose. Instead, we should unite over a simple message: Rittenhouse got justice. Let's make sure Black men do, too.

David Ben Moshe is a writer, speaker, and fitness coach. His work focuses on race relations, criminal justice reform, fitness, Judaism, and Israel. He's currently working on a memoir of his journey from federal prison in the United States to Israel where he lives with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Twitter @RealDBenMoshe.

The views in this article are the writer's own.

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Fact check: Kyle Rittenhouse visited Mar-a-Lago, but not for a paid two-week vacation .
Kyle Rittenhouse visited former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago beach resort, but not for a two-week, all-expenses-paid vacation. " USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment. Special access for subscribers! Click here to sign up for our fact-check text chat Rittenhouse visited Mar-a-Lago Local news outlets reported Rittenhouse was in Florida the weekend after his acquittal for an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has a home on the state's Gulf Coast. The interview aired Nov. 22. While he was in Florida, Rittenhouse also visited Trump.

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