Nov 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin National Guard on standby at end of Rittenhouse trial

National Guard troops stand watch as demonstrators protest outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse.
National Guard troops stand watch as demonstrators protest outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Approximately 500 National Guard members are on standby in Wisconsin as the end of the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse nears, Gov. Tony Evers said Friday.

Driving the news: The Wisconsin National Guard will post outside Kenosha, where Rittenhouse is standing trial for allegedly shooting two men and injuring another during protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake last year.

  • "I urge folks who are otherwise not from the area to please respect the community by reconsidering any plans to travel there and encourage those who might choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights to do so safely and peacefully," the Democratic governor said in a statement Friday.
  • Closing arguments for the trial are expected Monday, NBC News reports.

The big picture: Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide and endangering safety among other charges.

  • Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, were killed in the shooting and Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, was injured.
  • Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, was allegedly part of an armed group who said they were protecting private property from violent protesters. Rittenhouse's lawyers say he was acting in self-defense, according to CNN.
  • Rittenhouse faces a life sentence if he is convicted of first-degree intentional homicide.

What they're saying: "We stand ready to support our communities during times of need," Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said in a statement.

  • "In close coordination with the governor, we have assembled approximately 500 Soldiers to help keep the Kenosha community safe, should a request from our local partners come in."

Go deeper: Kenosha shooting lawsuit accuses police of coordinating with militia.

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