One fuzzy drone image may send Kyle Rittenhouse to prison
Up until Friday, the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was very clear: easily understood videos and witness testimony (including testimony from the prosecution witnesses) showed that Kyle, despite trying hard to avoid conflict, was attacked by a crazed child rapist, whom Kyle shot as the rapist was grabbing Kyle's gun, at which point a mob went after Kyle. He then shot and killed a domestic abuser trying to bash his head in with a skateboard, and shot and wounded a felon aiming a loaded, illegal gun at his head. On Thursday, however, the court allowed prosecutors to enter into evidence a fuzzy photo from a late-produced drone, an image prosecutors argue shows Kyle "provoking" the attacks against him. Provocation destroys Kyle's assertion that he acted in self-defense.
Andrew Branca explains how well the prosecution did on Friday. The "unicorn" evidence that the prosecutors successfully fought to get admitted is the drone footage that they just coincidentally found at the last minute before the trial. According to the prosecution, an incredibly fuzzy photo that was computer-enhanced (meaning that A.I. made "educated" guesses about where pixels should go) shows Kyle pointing his gun at Joshua Ziminski, who fired the first shot that saw Rosenbaum, who had earlier threatened to kill Kyle, chase the boy.
The problem for Kyle is that, under Wisconsin law (as is the case under most states' laws), a person who provokes an attack may not then claim self-defense. If the jury accepts the drone footage as showing Kyle threatening people with the gun, then it was he who triggered (pun intended) all subsequent events, including his shooting three people. However, Wisconsin law also holds that even if someone provokes things, if he withdraws from the fight but pursuit continues, he can regain the self-defense privilege. In that regard, much of the footage shows Kyle desperately running away.
Big win for the prosecution as the jury will be instructed it can find Rittenhouse provoked subsequent action based on the evidence presented (particularly whether he aimed a gun based on drone footage).— Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw) November 12, 2021
If found, the legal standards shift substantially against Rittenhouse. pic.twitter.com/SHyD9iU0JX
The drone video, of course, is just something for the jury to hang its hat on. The case was always going to boil down to the claim that Kyle provoked the attack merely by showing up at a "protest" with a gun. The gun itself was a provocation as far as the left is concerned, and that was a point that the defense repeatedly tried to make through the trial.
Image: The video that could destroy Kyle Rittenhouse's defense. Twitter screen grab.
The defense, noted Branca, did try to push back against the newly admitted drone video:
The defense argued sensibly that the evidence in support of the State's narrative of provocation — the "unicorn" drone video left by the evidence fairy on the State's doorstep last Friday, and the "enhanced" photos produced for the first time yesterday — were too flimsy a basis to support an argument of provocation. They pointed out the poor quality of the video and images and noted that for Kyle to be raising his rifle as the State claimed he would have had to suddenly decide, for the first time that night, to handle the rifle as if he were left-handed.
Writing at PJ Media, Victoria Taft explains that, in more bad news for Kyle's defense, the judge allowed the prosecutors to add several lesser charges to the more serious charges already pending against Kyle. This is disastrous for Kyle because it allows the jurors — who are fully aware of the baying mob that will greet them outside the courthouse and follow them to their homes — to assuage their consciences by finding Kyle guilty of the lesser charges. He'll still go to prison but not for life. Of course, once in prison, unless he's kept in solitary, his life will probably be short.
What happened to Kyle is just one more piece of the leftist politicization of law in America. In the past year, we've seen
- the FBI use a lost diary as an excuse to destroy Project Veritas by stealing all of its private correspondence and passing it to the New York Times;
- the DOJ issue a warrant to arrest Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress (something the DOJ never does);
- the DOJ's vendetta against Mike Flynn, who was clearly innocent of all charges, a vendetta Judge Emmet Sullivan backed;
- the murder trial and conviction of Derek Chauvin, who followed department protocol to control a man dying from a combination of heart disease and sticking Fentanyl up his derrière; and
- the vicious legal attacks against the January 6 protesters who have been kept in gulag-like conditions for behavior significantly less bad than every single leftist protest in 2020 or leftist assaults on the Capitol for the past twenty years.
All of these were and are purely political prosecutions aimed at destroying the Democrats' political opponents. With the mob pushing on one side (and invariably getting a pass from government institutions) and the government itself pushing on the other side, conservatives are getting squeezed out of the public square. Social media silence them, the political institutions criminalize them, and the mob physically threatens them. As General Flynn said on Tucker Carlson's Friday show, this cannot and will not end well:
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