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These Are the Heroes & Villains of the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

Rittenhouse trial recap: There have been a lot of characters in this one.

The Kyle Rittenhouse trial has given the public a bird’s eye view into the criminal justice system. Some of the characters whose lives have intersected with this story are heroes. Others, not so much.

We’ve been attending the trial, and watching it gavel-to-gavel; here, we round up the heroes, the villains, and the people in between.


Joseph rosenbaum sex offender
Joseph rosenbaum

Joseph Rosenbaum – he comes across as a terrible person in all ways who started all of this. He was the only person in this story running around using racial slurs and provoking fights. Plus he was a child molester. He was chasing Rittenhouse down, igniting the chain of events. He’s the number 1 villain of this case. Take Joseph Rosenbaum out of the equation that night – say he decided not to go there – and none of this would have happened.

The Car Source guys – many observes don’t believe them. Their testimony was shifty, vague, and just odd. Are they worried about civil liability?

Gaige Grosskreutz – Grosskreutz, the third man shot, came across to many like a shifty snake who omitted key information to the police. He seemed to think he was clever playing semantics games with the defense (I wasn’t “chasing” him! I was just running in the same direction behind him!) but then he blew up the prosecution’s case in both his own shooting and Huber’s death by admitting he feared for Rittenhouse’s safety at the hands of Huber and that he then pointed his own gun at Rittenhouse, while advancing, from about 3-5 feet away. Judging from the way he spoke to the defense, that didn’t appear to be his intention.

ADA James Kraus – He went off on a weird personal tangent in front of the jury over a blogger he doesn’t like and sounded like a petty bully. His posture in court turned him into the best meme.

Thomas Binger – The lead prosecutor become a meme. That’s a bad sign. He’s prosecuting a case with no articulable prosecution theory. He tried to sneak in a lot of extraneous nonsense to taint and cloud the jury from noticing the fact he doesn’t have a case (luckily the judge didn’t let him.) He kept doing it in court by playing video with the word “militia.” That’s just wrong. And what’s with the Star Wars pins?

DA Mike Graveley – He’s the guy who charged this thing. And then ran for the hills. Trying someone when the evidence doesn’t fit the facts is unethical. The case should never have been charged.

The MSM – They’re all belatedly discovering Kyle had a valid argument of self defense when they could have gone on YouTube months ago to see that. Their white supremacist organized militia narratives have crumbled. They tried to turn him into the Covington Catholic kid because he stands for things they hate – namely a great appreciation for the police.

The rioters and arsonists – They destroyed small businesses over a guy wanted on a sexual assault warrant who, armed with a knife, resisted arrest and then tried to take off with a couple kids in the car. They spent days hurling things at cops, scrawling vile graffiti on public buildings, burning businesses and a government building down, and just generally being jerks.

“kenosha burns” photo by jim piwowarczyk

Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes – Their disgraceful statements were inciting and they’re still acting like Jacob Blake is the good guy here. Not calling in the National Guard set the stage and was inexcusable.

People doxxing or photographing or videotaping jurors – They’re not just creeps, they’re scary

Not Villains But Not Exactly Heroes Either

Det. Martin howard

Anthony Huber – We actually believe he “thought” Kyle was an active shooter he was trying to stop, but Kyle “thought” Huber was an attacker.. .but it’s Kyle’s state of mind that dictates self-defense and.. Huber was mistaken. He paid for it with his life. He’s not a heroic figure overall; his background is too troubling for that (DV, strangulation, etc.) We think Kyle shot him in self-defense. But he’s not a villain in this specific story. It’s more complex.

The detectives – Seriously you had a search warrant and you didn’t search Gaige Grosskreutz’s phone? Jim (of Wisconsin Right Now) found 50% of the ballistics evidence in the Rosenbaum shooting?

The combat veterans – They served in Iraq and Afghanistan so maybe they thought they could be of use in this war zone. They didn’t go to Kenosha to cause harm. They went to protect. Their presence, though, still added some intensity to the equation… and a lot of firepower. Of course, without them, more businesses might have burned. We’re tempted to put them in the hero category because they stepped up when government wouldn’t but are stopping just short of that. You could argue their presence intensified things. You could also argue they prevented criminal behavior like arson fires. The media tried to turn them into villains. They’re not villains. The woman who came from West Bend after starting a Patriot group falls into this category.

Police leadership – Their policing strategy was a disaster. They pushed rioters and arsonists out of a park and into residential and business districts and then left them to destroy property with no pushback. They had a policy to not protect property during the riots and so they let arsonists start car lots and a government building and a credit union on fire with no pushback. That’s why the veterans felt they needed to intervene. The anarchy was the result of failed strategy. When we were in Kenosha during the riots, we saw people guarding their own subdivision gates because government had failed. An elderly man was beaten on video while trying to guard his business. That’s why people like the veterans and Kyle showed up.

Heroes of the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

Rittenhouse jury

The defense attorneys Mark Richards and Corey Chirafisi – now THAT’S how a cross is done.

Judge Bruce Schroeder – Look his name up in the dictionary and you get no-nonsense. He’s run a very professional ship and didn’t allow any extraneous BS. He’s doing his state proud. He explains things well to the jurors and is fair. Plus he orders Girl Scout cookies and plays Jeopardy during court breaks. Class A judge. Completely impervious to public pressure and really tries to follow the law.

Independent videographers on all sides of the political spectrum – They waded into an exceptionally dangerous situation to document history when much of the rest of the media went home. They are modern-day Zapruders. If Kyle is acquitted, he should thank them because their videos destroyed the false narratives against him by revealing the truth. These guys get their hands dirty; they don’t stand in pretty suits on street corners doing stand-ups.

Richie mcginnis

The court system during the trial – From judge to bailiffs to media coordinator – has handled this trial well. It’s very well-organized.

What of Kyle?

P.S. Kyle isn’t a hero but he’s not a villain either. He’s just a kid from a troubled family background who wanted to be a cop to get some order and meaning in his life. He’s just a young, impressionable kid who didn’t have bad intentions (he was trying to help, clean up graffiti, etc,) but he was too young to be there and was too young to possess the gun. As a result, he was immediately singled out as prey. He did, however, act in self-defense.

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