It's been nearly a year since aspiring police officer-cum-aspiring militia member Kyle Rittenhouse gunned down two people on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, at the height of the social justice protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by an white officer. In that time, Rittenhouse has been charged with murder — he was at one point represented by ineptly seditious weirdo Lin Wood — and simultaneously became the right-wing's perverted ideal of a cause celebre for having, as Fox News's Tucker Carlson explained, "decided [he] had to maintain order when no one else would" during the protests.
Now, according to the family of one of Rittenhouse's victims, the city of Kenosha itself is implicated in the alleged murders, with a new lawsuit filed this week claiming that the local police and sheriff not only accepted Rittenhouse and other armed militia members into their community, but also:
[D]eputized these armed individuals, conspired with them, and ratified their actions by letting them patrol the streets, armed with deadly weapons, to mete out justice as they saw fit. In addition, defendants thanked Rittenhouse and other armed individuals, gave them water, and allowed them to openly defy the emergency curfew order that was in place. Defendants even made plans to funnel the protestors toward the armed individuals [to] “deal with them."
The suit, filed by the parents of Anthony Huber in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, essentially alleges that during the protests that followed Blake's shooting, local law enforcement not only sat back, but indeed actively enabled Rittenhouse to shoot multiple protesters, killing two, including the 26-year-old Huber, and seriously injuring a third.
"Defendants did nothing to stop Rittenhouse's illegal conduct," the suit contends. "They did not arrest him for illegally carrying a gun. They did not disarm him. They did not limit his movement in any way. They did not question him. They did not stop him from shooting individuals after he started. They did not arrest him, detain him, or question him even after he had killed two people."
Speaking with local NBC affiliate TMJ4-Milwaukee, Huber family attorney Anand Swaminathan highlighted the disparity between how Kenosha authorities treated Rittenhouse and how they responded to the protesters in the days following Blake's shooting.
"Make no mistake: If Kyle Rittenhouse had been Black, or had been wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, there is no way on God's green earth he would have been allowed to walk away," Swaminathan said. "More likely he would have been shot dead in the street."
A Kenosha County attorney has responded to the lawsuit, calling the claims "demonstrably false."
The family is asking for an unspecified amount in both compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants, which include not only the current and former Kenosha chiefs-of-police, as well as the sheriff, but the city and county of Kenosha as well.
In a statement announcing the suit, Huber's father John made the stakes of his suit clear: "If they had done their job, my son would still be alive today."