A Timeline of the Kyle Rittenhouse Case
Here are the events that led to Mr. Rittenhouse, 18, standing trial in the fatal shootings of two men and the wounding of another in Kenosha, Wis.,
Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, will stand trial this week in the fatal shootings of two men and the wounding of another, the result of a confrontation in Kenosha, Wis., last August.
Mr. Rittenhouse has been charged with six criminal counts, including first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
Here is a timeline of events leading up to the shootings, and what has happened in the case.
May 25-30, 2020
George Floyd is killed by the police and protests spread across the U.S.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer. Bystanders recorded video of the officer using his knee to pin Mr. Floyd by his neck during an arrest. Mr. Floyd could be heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe,” in the video, as witnesses begged police officers to release him.
Protests erupted in Minneapolis and other cities around the country, including Atlanta, Portland, New York and Chicago, in the days following Mr. Floyd’s death.
Mr. Chauvin, 44, was charged with murder and manslaughter in Mr. Floyd’s death.
On May 30, Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis condemned the continuing destruction in his city, saying that peaceful demonstrations and protests had morphed into “domestic terrorism.” An 8 p.m. curfew was largely being ignored by people who had burned buildings and looted stores.
“We are now confronting white supremacists, members of organized crime, out-of-state instigators, and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region,” he said.
AUG. 23, 2020
Jacob Blake, a Black Kenosha resident, is shot several times by a white officer.
Jacob Blake, a Black Kenosha resident, was shot and seriously wounded by a white police officer, Rusten Sheskey, who had been summoned in response to a domestic complaint by Mr. Blake’s fiancee.
Officer Sheskey and two other officers attempted to take Mr. Blake into custody on an outstanding warrant that had been issued in July on charges of third-degree sexual assault, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
Mr. Blake fought with the police officers and refused orders to drop a knife, then attempted to open the driver’s side door of a vehicle, as his children sat in the back seat. As he tried to climb into the vehicle, Officer Sheskey grabbed Mr. Blake and shot him seven times, leaving him partly paralyzed.
Aug. 24, 2020
Protesters flood onto the streets of Kenosha.
Protests erupted in Kenosha, as hundreds of demonstrators marched through downtown, calling for Officer Sheskey’s arrest. Dozens of people in the crowd set fire to cars, looted and burned buildings and knocked over streetlamps. Gov. Tony Evers sent members of the National Guard to Kenosha to assist local police officers.
Aug. 25, 2020
Kyle Rittenhouse shoots three men, two of them fatally.
On the third night of protests, the police and protesters clashed violently at Civic Center Park in front of the heavily barricaded Kenosha County Courthouse. Demonstrators threw water bottles and fireworks at police officers, who responded with tear gas, driving the crowds out of the park and onto side streets.
By late evening, most of the demonstrators had left the area. But dozens of armed protesters and other members of the crowd remained on Sheridan Road, arguing, threatening and shoving each other and occasionally setting fires in garbage cans. Mr. Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, was walking in the area holding a military-style semiautomatic rifle.
At one point, he was chased into a used car lot by Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, who threw a plastic bag at Mr. Rittenhouse. Mr. Rittenhouse fatally shot Mr. Rosenbaum and ran away, in the direction of the armored vehicles where police officers and National Guardsmen were stationed. Several members of the crowd pursued Mr. Rittenhouse and he shot two of them, killing Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, who was 26 at the time.
Aug. 26, 2020
Mr. Rittenhouse is arrested.
Mr. Rittenhouse, who had returned to his home in Antioch, Ill., after the shooting, was arrested there the morning after the shootings. He was held in a juvenile detention facility in Lake County, Ill.
Aug. 27, 2020
Homicide charges are filed.
Mr. Rittenhouse was charged with five felonies and a misdemeanor, including two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. The homicide charges, which are equivalent to what other states call murder charges, carry a sentence of life in prison. Mr. Rittenhouse was also charged with recklessly endangering the safety of a video journalist, Richard McGinnis, and for attempted homicide in the shooting of Mr. Grosskreutz. He was charged with a misdemeanor for possessing a weapon as a minor.
Jan. 5, 2021
Mr. Rittenhouse pleads not guilty, and the D.A. says the officer who shot Mr. Blake will not face charges.
Mr. Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty to the charges in a brief videoconference arraignment.
Michael Graveley, the Kenosha County district attorney, announced that Officer Sheskey would not be charged with a crime.
Mr. Graveley said a case against the officer would have been very hard to prove, in part because it would be difficult to overcome an argument that the officer was protecting himself. He said Mr. Blake had admitted to holding a knife and that statements from officers and other witnesses indicated that Mr. Blake had turned toward an officer with the knife immediately before he was shot.
Nov. 1, 2021
The trial begins.
Jury selection is set to begin on Monday in Mr. Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse, the stage for protests in August 2020. Judge Bruce Schroeder of Kenosha County Circuit Court has summoned 150 potential jurors in advance of the trial, a higher number than is typical, given the media attention that Mr. Rittenhouse’s case has received. The trial is expected to last between two and three weeks.