Agencies from around the state are hoping to avoid a repeat of last summer’s unrest in Kenosha as the trial of Illinois teen Kyle Rittenhouse comes close to its conclusion.
The prosecution and the defense presented their closing arguments on Monday and the jury entered its deliberations on Tuesday morning. The jury is discussing five criminal counts: (one count) first-degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, (two counts) first degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, (one count) first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, and (one count) attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. The jury has been given the option to consider second-degree charges with some of the counts. The judge has dismissed charges against Rittenhouse for possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 and failure to comply with an emergency order from state or local government.
While no unrest is expected in Door and Kewaunee counties, plans are underway elsewhere in the state. WMTV-Madison reports that the city’s police department is prepared to protect the constitutional rights of its residents if demonstrations occur and they are collaborating with other agencies to determine the best way to respond once a verdict comes. The death of George Floyd spurred protests in Madison, leading to the destruction of statues outside the Capitol building, graffiti on area buildings, and the assault of a Democratic state senator. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has mobilized 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops to be on standby just in case Kenosha experiences the same unrest that featured the events Rittenhouse is being charged for and millions of dollars in damage.