Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old student who is on trial for murder in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the Black Lives Matter riots last August 25, took the stand in his own defense on Wednesday morning in a surprising turn in the ongoing trial.
It is rare for defendants to take the stand in their own defense, because of the risk that they might be led into damaging testimony by the tactics of prosecution attorneys. It was unknown at the start of the day whether he would do so.
However, after the defense presented other witnesses, Rittenhouse took the stand, and said he had done so with the advice of counsel.
The prosecution had rested its case earlier in the week, after laying out the basic elements of the crimes with which Rittenhouse is accused.
On cross-examination, however, several prosecution witnesses admitted that Rittenhouse had only fired his rifle after being pursued; one “victim,” Gaige Grosskreutz, admitted he had pointed his own gun at Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse raised his right hand and took the oath, after being questioned by the judge as to whether he had been advised of his rights.
He began his first replies to the defense attorneys’ questions in a strong, confident voice.
Last year, the media and Democrats accused Rittenhouse, falsely, of being a “white supremacist”; Facebook prevented users from posting in his defense.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.