Let’s stipulate starting out that Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, who has been arrested and charged with murder for shooting two people during the Kenosha riots two nights ago, should not have been present at the scene with a semi-auto rifle. That’s no place for a 17-year-old, even if he is a regular at the gun range. And resorting to vigilantism is a sure path to a breakdown in the rule of law and perhaps even open civil war. We’ll hold off a recitation of Lincoln’ Lyceum Address on this point for some other time, as well as scoring the appalling negligence of Democratic political leaders in Wisconsin.
That said, there appears to be a decent case that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. Who says this? Sit down for the answer: a team of reporters from the New York Times. I’m starting to think someone from Fox News has spiked the water at the Times, as this story makes two sensible news stories in one day from the Times. Or maybe the panic is that high at DNC headquarters.
Here are key excerpts from the story, “Tracking the Suspect in the Fatal Kenosha Shootings,” in which Times reporters stitch together a timeline from several videos, and with my highlights:
In most of the footage The Times has reviewed from before the shootings, Mr. Rittenhouse is around this area. He also offers medical assistance to protesters.
About 15 minutes before the first shooting, police officers drive past Mr. Rittenhouse, and the other armed civilians who claim to be protecting the dealership, and offer water out of appreciation.
Mr. Rittenhouse walks up to a police vehicle carrying his rifle and talks with the officers.
He eventually leaves the dealership and is barred by the police from returning. Six minutes later footage shows Mr. Rittenhouse being chased by an unknown group of people into the parking lot of another dealership several blocks away.
While Mr. Rittenhouse is being pursued by the group, an unknown gunman fires into the air, though it’s unclear why. The weapon’s muzzle flash appears in footage filmed at the scene.
Mr. Rittenhouse turns toward the sound of gunfire as another pursuer lunges toward him from the same direction. Mr. Rittenhouse then fires four times, and appears to shoot the man in the head. . .
As Mr. Rittenhouse is running, he trips and falls to the ground. He fires four shots as three people rush toward him. One person appears to be hit in the chest and falls to the ground. Another, who is carrying a handgun, is hit in the arm and runs away.
Mr. Rittenhouse’s gunfire is mixed in with the sound of at least 16 other gunshots that ring out during this time.
As this happens, police vehicles just one block away remain stationary during the gunfire.
Mr. Rittenhouse walks with his hands up toward the police vehicles. Bystanders call out to the officers that he had just shot people.
The police drive by him without stopping, on their way to assist the victims.
The left is making a big deal about the supposed “white privilege” of Rittenhouse because the police initially drove past him even though he had his hands up. But as this story makes clear, the police were heading to aid victims, which is surely sound police procedure, not yet knowing that Rittenhouse was the shooter.