BC-US-KENOSHA-PROTEST-SHOOTINGS-DEFENSE

Rittenhouse lawyers’ trial playbook: Don’t ‘crusade,’ defend

An attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse said after his client’s acquittal that he was determined to steer away from the most polarizing parts of the case. Mark Richards says he told Rittenhouse the first time he met him that if he wanted a crusader, then Richards wasn’t his man. That was a sharp contrast to Rittenhouse’s first attorneys, who leaned hard into Rittenhouse’s portrayal as a potent symbol of American divides on gun issues and racial injustice. Richards and co-counsel Corey Chirafisi said little about the case before trial and tried to focus jurors on the critical three minutes of the shootings to argue self-defense.

AP-US-KENOSHA-PROTEST-SHOOTINGS-MEDIA

Fox says it did not pay for Rittenhouse film and interview

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News on Saturday said it did not pay Kyle Rittenhouse for any special access during his murder trial or after his acquittal. Hours after he was found not guilty in shootings during a Wisconsin protest on racial injustice, Fox announced that Rittenhouse would give his first interview to Fox’s Tucker Carlson and was participating in a documentary being made by Carlson’s team. Rittenhouse’s lawyer, Mark Richards, said  that a Fox documentary crew was embedded with Rittenhouse’s team against his wishes. Richards told The Associated Press on Saturday that he didn’t think the filming was appropriate and that he had tossed the crew out of meetings several times. 

KENOSHA PROTEST-SHOOTINGS-POLITICS

Rittenhouse verdict puts Biden in difficult political spot

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A difficult political atmosphere for President Joe Biden may have become even more treacherous after the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. Biden was already facing sliding poll numbers with an electorate worn down by the coronavirus pandemic and increasing inflation. Now, the president finds himself with outraged Democrats, including some already stewing over Biden’s inability to land police reform and voting rights legislation. And on the other side of the issue are Republicans looking to use the Rittenhouse case to exploit the nation’s divide over matters of grievance and race. The Rittenhouse verdict also comes as Biden tries to keep Democrats focused on passing his massive social services and climate bill.

AP-US-RITTENHOUSE-PROTESTS

Hundreds protest Rittenhouse acquittal across US

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Law enforcement in Portland declared a riot Friday as about 200 demonstrators protested the acquittal of a teen who killed two people and injured another in Wisconsin. Authorities say the protesters were breaking windows, throwing objects at police and talking about burning down a local government building in downtown Portland. The Portland Police Bureau said several people were given citations, but only one person who had an outstanding warrant from another matter was arrested. Protests have been held in several other U.S. cities into Saturday following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse.

AP-US-KENOSHA-PROTEST-SHOOTINGS

Jury finds Rittenhouse not guilty in Kenosha shootings

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all charges after testifying he acted in self-defense in the deadly Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice. The jury returned its verdict after close to 3 1/2 days of deliberation. Rittenhouse, 18, could have gotten life in prison if found guilty of the most serious charge against him. He was charged with homicide, attempted homicide and recklessly endangering safety for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle. The shootings took place during a night of protests over police violence against Black people in the tumultuous summer of 2020. Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot. The jury appeared to be overwhelmingly white.

KENOSHA PROTEST-SHOOTINGS-MEDIA

A defining image: Rittenhouse nearly crumbles out of picture

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyle Rittenhouse, fighting back sobs, nearly collapsed out of the television camera’s sight as the last of five ‘not guilty’ verdicts was read in a Wisconsin courtroom. It instantly became the defining image of his murder trial’s climactic moment, which became the subject of such passionate debate that major broadcast and cable news networks set aside regular programming to reveal the jury’s decision. The verdict Friday didn’t end the strong opinions that raced through the media. Rittenhouse’s relieved lawyer, Mark Richards, was questioned by reporters after the trial live on television and ended the news conference with the plaintive request: ‘Can I go home?’

KENOSHA PROTEST-SHOOTINGS-RACE

Black Americans see biased system in Rittenhouse verdict

CHICAGO (AP) — For many Black Americans, Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal on all charges by a Wisconsin jury on Friday confirmed their belief in two justice systems: one for white people and another for Black people. Rittenhouse, the two men he killed and the man he wounded are all white, but the case has been linked from the start to issues of race and the criminal justice system. Activists have previously pointed to differences in how police handled Rittenhouse’s case and that of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot by a white Kenosha police officer in August 2020, sparking protests that became destructive and violent.

ABORTION-WHAT IF ROE CRUMBLES

Conflict over abortion laws won’t abate if Roe v. Wade falls

On both sides of America’s abortion debate, activists are convinced that the 1973 Supreme Court ruling establishing a nationwide right to abortion is imperiled as never before. Yet no matter how the current conservative-dominated court handles pending high-profile abortion cases, there will be no monolithic, nationwide change. Instead, the fractious state-by-state battle over abortion access will continue. The demise of Roe v. Wade would return abortion policymaking to the states. At least 20 Republican-governed states would likely impose sweeping bans; perhaps 15 Democratic-governed states would reaffirm their strong support for abortion access.

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