As closing arguments are set to begin Monday in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial, Democrat Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has activated a contingent of his state’s National Guard troops capable of mounting a rapid response if the verdict leads to unrest, as the Washington Examiner reports.
The governor made the announcement on Saturday and indicated that roughly 500 troops were set to report for active duty in order to “support local partners in ensuring public safety in conjunction with hundreds of officers from volunteering law enforcement agencies,” according to the outlet.
Evers’ statement added that the deployed troops “may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report,” as the prospect of the teen’s acquittal on charges related to the deaths of two and the wounding of another during 2020 riots in Kenosha that followed the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake.
In an apparent effort to prevent the sort of looting and destruction that overwhelmed Kenosha last summer, Evers added, “I urge folks who are otherwise not from the area to please respect the community by reconsidering any plans to travel there and encourage those who might choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights to do so safely and peacefully,” as NBC News reported.
Prior to turning the case over to the jury, presiding Judge Bruce Schroeder on Friday heard arguments from the prosecution and defense teams regarding whether jurors should be allowed to consider lesser included offense charges once they begin their deliberations.
Though Rittenhouse currently faces charges that include those of first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree recklessly endangering safety, and first-degree intentional homicide, prosecutors sought to add lesser counts to those under consideration by the jury, in what many view as a sign that the state does not feel it has met the necessary burden of proof on the more serious charges.
Throughout the trial, Rittenhouse’s attorneys maintained that the then-17-year-old acted in self defense when he fatally shot two and wounded one, and they even took the extraordinary step of putting the accused on the stand to testify in his own defense – a gambit that many believe ended up working largely in their favor.
Unfortunately, liberal commentators have stoked the flames of racial outrage yet again in connection to this case, as evidenced by a recent tweet from – of all people – the folks at ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s hypothesizing what would have occurred if the defendant “was a Black 17 yr old that crossed state lines illegally carrying an AR-15 and shot 3 white protestors,” an apparent attempt to create the false impression that Rittenhouse shot Black protestors in a racially motivated attack.
Hopefully, the jurors assigned to render a verdict in this case will be able to look past the media hype, mischaracterizations, and outright falsehoods and focus on the facts. Sadly, however, if they do reach the conclusion that Rittenhouse acted in justifiable self defense, the number of National Guard troops activated by Evers may be nowhere near enough to quell the uprising that results.