Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, will stand trial this week for the fatal shooting of two men and the wounds of another, the result of a confrontation in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August.
Mr. Rittenhouse has been charged with six criminal counts, including first degree manslaughter, first degree intentional murder, and first degree intentional manslaughter.
Here is a timeline of the events that led to the shootings and what happened in the case.
May 25-30, 2020
George Floyd is killed by the police and protests spread across the US.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, after being handcuffed and nailed to the ground by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer. Bystanders videotaped the officer using his knee to immobilize Mr. Floyd by the neck during an arrest. Mr. Floyd could be heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe,” on video as witnesses pleaded with police officers to release him.
Protests broke out in Minneapolis and other cities around the country, including Atlanta, Portland, New York and Chicago, in the days after Floyd’s death.
Mr. Chauvin, 44, was charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of Mr. Floyd.
On May 30, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey condemned the continuing destruction in his city and said the peaceful demonstrations and protests had turned into “domestic terrorism.” The 8pm curfew was being largely ignored by people who had burned buildings and looted shops.
“Now we face white supremacists, members of organized crime, out-of-state instigators and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region,” he said.
AUG. 23, 2020
Jacob Blake, a resident of Black Kenosha, is shot multiple times by a white officer.
Jacob Blake, a resident of Black Kenosha, was shot and seriously injured by a white police officer, Rusten Sheskey, who had been subpoenaed in response to an internal complaint from Mr. Blake’s fiancée.
Officer Sheskey and two other officers attempted to arrest Mr. Blake with an outstanding warrant that had been issued in July on charges of third degree sexual assault, burglary and disorderly conduct.
Mr. Blake got into a fight with police officers and refused orders to drop a knife, then attempted to open the driver’s side door of a vehicle while his children were sitting in the back seat. While trying to get into the vehicle, Officer Sheskey grabbed Mr. Blake and shot him seven times, leaving him partially paralyzed.
Understanding the Kyle Rittenhouse trial
Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, is on trial for the murder of two people protesting the police shooting of a black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This is what you need to know:
August 24, 2020
Protesters flood the streets of Kenosha.
Protests broke out in Kenosha, when hundreds of protesters marched through downtown, calling for the arrest of Officer Sheskey. Dozens of people in the crowd set cars on fire, looted and burned buildings, and toppled streetlights. Governor Tony Evers sent members of the National Guard to Kenosha to assist local police officers.
August 25, 2020
Kyle Rittenhouse shoots three men, two of them fatally.
On the third night of protests, police and protesters clashed violently in Civic Center Park across from the heavily entrenched Kenosha County Courthouse. Protesters threw bottles of water and fireworks at police officers, who responded with tear gas and drove crowds from the park onto the side streets.
By late at night, most of the protesters had left the area. But dozens of armed protesters and other members of the crowd remained on Sheridan Road, arguing, threatening and pushing each other and occasionally setting trash cans on fire. Mr. Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, was walking through the area with a military-style semiautomatic rifle.
At one point, 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum chased him into a used car lot and threw a plastic bag at Mr. Rittenhouse. Mr. Rittenhouse shot and killed Mr. Rosenbaum and escaped, heading for the armored vehicles where the police officers and the National Guard were stationed. Several members of the crowd chased after Mr. Rittenhouse and shot two of them, killing 26-year-old Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, who was 26 at the time.
August 26, 2020
Mr. Rittenhouse is arrested.
Mr. Rittenhouse, who had returned to his home in Antioch, Ill., After the shooting, was arrested there the morning after the shootings. He was held in a juvenile detention center in Lake County, Illinois.
August 27, 2020
Murder charges are filed.
Mr. Rittenhouse was charged with five felonies and one misdemeanor, including two counts of first degree murder. The murder charges, which are equivalent to what other states call murder charges, carry a life sentence. Mr. Rittenhouse was also charged with recklessly endangering the safety of a video journalist, Richard McGinnis, and with attempted murder in the shooting of Mr. Grosskreutz. He was charged with a misdemeanor for possession of a weapon when he was a minor.
January 5, 2021
Mr. Rittenhouse pleads not guilty and the district attorney says the officer who shot Mr. Blake will not face charges.
Mr. Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty to the charges in a brief arraignment by video conference.
Michael Graveley, Kenosha County District Attorney, Announced that Officer Sheskey would not be charged with any crime.
Graveley said a case against the officer would have been very difficult to prove, in part because it would be difficult to overcome an argument that the officer was protecting himself. He said that Mr. Blake had admitted to having a knife and that statements by officers and other witnesses indicated that Mr. Blake had turned to an officer with the knife immediately before he was shot.
November 1, 2021
The trial begins.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday at Mr. Rittenhouse’s trial, which is typical given the media attention Mr. Rittenhouse’s case has received. The trial is expected to last between two and three weeks.