WATCH– Prosecution: Kyle Rittenhouse ‘Too Cowardly to Use His Own Fists’

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 15: Assistant District Attorney James Kraus gives the rebutt
Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images

The prosecution in the Kyle Rittenhouse case accused the teenager of being “too cowardly to use his own fists” when an enraged rioter and subsequent mob attacked him.

During the rebuttal on Monday, shortly after the Rittenhouse defense offered the jury its closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney James Kraus repeated lead prosecutor Thomas Binger’s line that Rittenhouse unfairly brought a gun to a fistfight:

Clearly, if there is a provocation, he is guilty. But even outside of provocation, why do you get to immediately just start shooting. As Mr. Binger said, he brought a gun to a fistfight and he was too cowardly to use his own fists to fight his way out. He has to start shooting.


Kraus had followed up on a previous line of argumentation from Thomas Binger, who lit up the internet when he employed an image from the 1980s Patrick Swayze movie Road House:

Let’s assume for a minute, yeah, Joseph Rosenbaum is chasing after the defendant because he wants to do some physical harm to him. He’s an unarmed man. This is a bar fight. This is a fistfight. This is a fight that maybe many of you have been involved in. Two people. Hand to hand. Who are throwing punches or pushing or shoving or whatever.

“But what you don’t do, is you don’t bring a gun to a fistfight,” Binger added.

On August 25, 2020, then-17-year-old Rittenhouse traveled up from Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the riots over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, hoping to aid a local business owner in defending his car dealership that had suffered $1.5 million in damages.

As the night unfolded, Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-15, was allegedly attacked by rioters, during which time he fatally shot two people and wounded one. Several witnesses have testified that Rittenhouse fired his gun only after being pursued, with one prosecution witness admitting that Rittenhouse shot him only after he had pointed a gun at the minor.

After closing arguments on Monday, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the jury for the evening; they are expected to begin deliberation on Tuesday morning. Should Kyle Rittenhouse be found guilty of intentional homicide, he could face life in prison.


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