The case pertains to United States’s Wisconsin, where the 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse is accused of murdering people during a protest held in Kenosha. While Rittenhouse faces several charges, including first-degree homicide, many on Facebook argued that as per state statutes, it was perfectly legal for the teenager to carry the weapon.
These claims were refuted by Politifact in its fact-check article, where it called Facebook posts that said it was “perfectly legal” for Kyle Rittenhouse to carry firearms false and misleading. The article cited the Wisconsin Department of Justice to assert that although it honoured concealed carry permits issued in Illinois, Rittenhouse neither had a permit, nor was he old enough to carry a firearm in Wisconsin.
It said in Illinois, applicants must be at least 21 years old to get a concealed carry permit. Since Rittenhouse was 17, he would not qualify for the permit, the fact-check reasoned. The fact-check also cited the Wisconsin law, saying it was illegal for Rittenhouse to carry the firearm. The article said though it is legal in Wisconsin for adults to carry firearms in public without a license if the gun is visible, Rittenhouse was not eligible as he was not 18 at the time of committing the act.
The article quoted the Wisconsin law that says any person under the age of 18 years who possesses or goes armed with a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor to drive home the point that Facebook posts who had declared Rittenhouse’s possession of firearm as perfectly legal were misleading and inaccurate.
PolitiFact’s fact-check goes awry, Wisconsin judge dismisses charges of misdemeanour against Kyle Rittenshouse
However, Politifact’s adherence to leftist propaganda was busted after a Wisconsin judge in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on Monday dismissed the misdemeanour charge against the U.S. teenager for illegally possessing the AR-15-style rifle.
Judge Bruce Schroeder while dismissing the misdemeanour charged against Rittenhouse said Wisconsin’s open carry law can be interpreted to mean that 17-year-olds were permitted to openly carry firearms as long as they’re not short-barrel rifles. He believed the jury could only convict if prosecutors proved the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle was less than 16 inches and has an overall length shorter than 26 inches.
The AR-15-style rifle carried by Rittenhouse, which he used to fatally shoot two men and injure a third, is 35 inches long with a barrel length of 16 inches. Under defense questioning, a Kenosha police detective said he believed the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 was standard size.
Politifact continues to defend its dubious ‘fact check’
The ‘fact-checker’, meanwhile, has continued to defend its dubious ‘fact-check’. It said that it has “never been clear that it was “perfectly legal” for then-17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse to carry a gun.” This was despite the fact that the charge was dismissed by the judge.
It has never been clear that it was “perfectly legal” for then-17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse to carry a gun. https://t.co/2xvPi9LvRv
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) November 15, 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse trial
Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and injuring one on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a protest against police brutality in the summer of 2020. Prosecutors brought multiple charges against him, including first-degree intentional homicide, attempted homicide, reckless endangerment and the firearm possession count.
However, Rittenhouse argued that he acted in self-defence, leaving prosecutors with the weight of proving that his fear for his safety and his use of lethal force were unjustifiable. Rittenhouse said he went to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to protect property from rioters in the days after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot by a white Kenosha police officer. Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot. Rittenhouse’s lawyer said the shooting started after his client was ambushed by a “crazy man” that night, which drew fears of his gun being snatched away and used to kill him.
This was contested by prosecutor attorney Thomas Binger, who in his closing arguments on Monday, described Rittenhouse as a “wannabe soldier” who was “looking for trouble that night.” Binger showed the jury the drone video of the incident that he said showed Rittenhouse pointed the weapon at demonstrators. Binger said this was the provocation that gave rise to the ugly turn of events that took place later.
However, numerous visual evidence, including witness testimony, revealed that attempts were made to physically harm Kyle Rittenhouse and grab his gun. He was hit with a skateboard at one point of time and threats were made to kill him. Gaige Grosskreutz admitted on questioning that Rittenhouse did not shoot him until he pointed a gun at his face.
Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the men that were killed, is a convicted pedophile. He sexually abused five boys aged between 9 and 11 when he was 19 and was sentenced to jail for it. He molested the children, exposed them to pornography and performed oral sex on them. Grosskreutz, too, has a criminal history involving burglary and domestic violence.
Kenosha was in the grips of violent protests last year when the shootings happened. Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters ran riot, setting buildings and vehicles on fire and law enforcement took no measures to protect civilians which laid the stage for the events that transpired.
If convicted, Rittenhouse, now 18, will face a mandatory sentence of life in prison for the most serious charge against him, first-degree intentional homicide. His fate rests on the group of 18 jurors who are hearing the case, 12 of whom will give verdict on the case while the remaining six will be designated alternates.