Rittenhouse not affiliated with right-wing group on night of shooting, judge rules

Kyle Rittenhouse, the young man who was arrested and charged with murder after he claims he was acting in self-defense during a riot that erupted in the death of Jacob Blake, just received a bit of good news as he prepares for his upcoming trial.

According to the Daily Caller, a judge presiding over the trial announced over the weekend that Rittenhouse is not known to have been a part of any far right-wing groups, which means that prosecutors will be unable to use that line in their prosecution of his case. 

Of course, Rittenhouse claims he was acting in self-defense — a claim that millions of Americans believe after seeing video footage — during the riot. Rittenhouse faces charges for shooting at three people during the incident, which resulted in two deaths.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger had asked Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder permission to bring up at his trial that he believes Rittenhouse has ties to the right-wing Proud Boys group, which ultimately resulted in the judge ruling that not enough proof was available to make such an accusation.

Corey Chirafisi, Rittenhouse’s attorney, argued that such claims were not relevant to the trial, adding that Rittenhouse’s act of self-defense was also not racially motivated, as the victims of his shooting were also white.

Though Rittenhouse allegedly flew to Miami to meet with Proud Boys leadership after the shooting, Chirafisi successfully argued that on the night of the actual shooting, there remains no proof that Rittenhouse had any association with the group.

Judge Schroeder also shot down a request from the prosecution to bring up a previous incident in which they allege Rittenhouse engaged in a fight with a girl who was fighting his sister.

Several other requests, from both the prosecution and the defense, were dismissed by Judge Schroeder, leaving many to wonder what both sides will present in the next hearing, which is slated for early October, and ultimately the November trial.

Rittenhouse has received both widespread support and criticism in the time that has elapsed since his incident. As NPR reported, Rittenhouse was released on a $2 million bail in November 2020 after a successful fundraiser that attracted conservative celebrity attention.