The case of Kyle Rittenhouse is fascinating, not because it shows that white men have privilege under the law (because we already knew that), but because of just how many allowances this guy, charged with killing two people and wounding another, has been able to get.
As I said recently, 2021 is showing that white privilege is alive and well in America. And 18-year-old Rittenhouse is flexing his for all that it’s worth.
After traveling from Antioch, Ill., to Wisconsin last summer, where protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake were taking place, Rittenhouse is accused of using an AR-15 he reportedly bought with a stimulus unemployment check to fatally shoot 26-year-old Anthony Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum. Shortly after being taken into custody for the incident, Rittenhouse was released on $2 million bond, due to the donations of shooting sympathizers on the internet. Since being allowed to hit the streets, Rittenhouse has been seen hitting up a bar with his mother in Wisconsin while wearing a shirt reading “Free as Fuck” and reportedly flashing white power hand signs.
Prosecutors recently secured amended bond conditions that require Rittenhouse to stay away from bars and known white supremacists. Now they are seeking another warrant for his arrest and to add $200,000 to his bail in light of the fact that Rittenhouse gave the courts a false address for where he resides.
In the motion filed Wednesday, Binger writes that on December 22, 2020, the clerk of the Circuit Court mailed a notice to the defendant at the address he’d given “and the notice was returned unclaimed on January 28, 2021.” Kenosha Police detectives were dispatched to the residence on February 2, the motion says, and with the help of the current resident a neighbor, determined Rittenhouse no longer lived there.
Attorneys for Rittenhouse objected to the prosecutor’s motion filed Wednesday, citing “numerous death and other threats based on the events of August 25, 2020 in the City of Kenosha, Wisconsin.”
Attorney John Pierce, who was part of Rittenhouse’s defense team until mid-January 2021, signed an affidavit filed Wednesday saying due to the numerous death threats “arrangements were made for the Rittenhouse family to reside at a ‘Safe House’ in an unidentified location,” once bail was posted.
You get that? The justification for Rittenhouse not telling the courts his address is that he is apparently terrified of people knowing where he is. Though just a couple of hours after being released on bail in December, he was already at a bar celebrating his freedom.
The prosecution’s motion, shared by Fox 6 News, highlights the absurdity perfectly:
It is important to note that the $2 million came from a dubious Internet fundraising campaign, and the defendant and his family did not post any money toward that bond. As a result, the defendant is free from custody with minimal incentive to comply with his bond conditions...Indeed, the defendant has already demonstrated his carefree attitude by going to a bar immediately after his arraignment on January 5, 2021 and drinking 3 beers in the company of known “Proud Boys” while flashing white supremacist signs and wearing a ‘Free as (expletive)‘ shirt.
Rarely does our community see accused murderers roaming about freely.
It remains to be seen if a judge will grant the prosecution’s request or if the suspect will be allowed the benefit of keeping his address secret—even after he lied to the court to enjoy that benefit on his own accord. Rittenhouse’s trial for the charges of first-degree homicide and attempted homicide, which he has pleaded not guilty to on the basis of self-defense, is set to begin on March 10.