Civil rights lawsuit against Kyle Rittenhouse can proceed, judge rules
A civil rights lawsuit against Kyle Rittenhouse and the Wisconsin city and county of Kenosha will be allowed to move forward, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
Anthony Huber was one of three men shot by Rittenhouse during the August 2020 protests that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white Kenosha police officer two days earlier.
In November 2021, Rittenhouse was acquitted in a homicide trial in the deaths of Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36. He also was found not guilty of injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, 26.
The lawsuit, filed in August 2021 in federal court by the Huber family, seeks “to hold the municipalities and law enforcement officers involved in the police response to the protests liable for (Huber’s) death,” according to the ruling.
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Rittenhouse and the city and county of Kenosha sought to dismiss the case, arguing the case “failed to properly allege federal civil rights claims.” Both motions to dismiss were denied.
“(The Defendants’) conduct, as alleged in the complaint, involved forcing protestors into a confined area with hostile, armed individuals, and then failing to protect the protestors from violence perpetrated by the armed individuals,” Judge Lynn Adelman wrote in the ruling.
The case now moves to discovery and a jury trial could be scheduled in the near future.
“Today’s ruling puts Anthony’s family one step closer to justice for their son’s needless death,” said Anand Swaminathan, one of the Huber family’s attorneys. “The Kenosha officials that created a powder keg situation by their actions tried to claim that they cannot be held accountable for their unconstitutional conduct; that argument was soundly rejected today.”
Huber’s parents, John Huber and Karen Bloom, issued a statement after the decision:
“Make no mistake: our fight to hold those responsible for Anthony’s death accountable continues in full force. Neither Mr. Rittenhouse nor the Kenosha Police who authorized his bloody rampage will escape justice. Anthony will have his day in court.”
This case is one of several ongoing civil lawsuits filed in the wake of the 2020 shootings. Grosskreutz last year filed a similar lawsuit against Rittenhouse.
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Contributing: The Associated Press.
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