(WLAX/WEUX) – It’s been more than a year since the city of Kenosha was rocked by protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
It was during those demonstrations then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire on the crowd, killing two.
He says it was in self-defense, but now it’s up to the jury to decide.
Jury selection is underway in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen who shot and killed two people and wounded another during anti-racism protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.
Rittenhouse is facing two counts of homicide along with several other charges. The now 18-year-old entering a not guilty plea, claiming he acted in self-defense.
Kenosha County judge Bruce Schroeder said, “With respect to the first five counts, the district attorney alleges the crimes were committed while the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon.”
In August 2020, Rittenhouse crossed state lines from his home in Illinois during police brutality protests in Wisconsin after Kenosha police shot Jacob Blake multiple times in the back during a domestic disturbance call.
Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Rittenhouse is accused of opening fire with an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle, killing protesters Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding another.
The polarizing case is expected to be a litmus test for self-defense claims, and it will be up to a jury to decide if Rittenhouse was a vigilante or hero.
“Jurors need to put themselves in the position of Rittenhouse and decide if they, or other reasonable people in that position, would have come to the same conclusion and felt they had no choice but to shoot.”
20 people from 150 prospective jurors will be selected to hear the case.
Ultimately, 12 will deliberate, and the rest will be alternates.
Kyle Rittenhouse is facing life in prison.
The trial is expected to last roughly two weeks. In New York, Anna Eliopoulos.