tv MTP Daily MSNBC November 19, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST
again. and partisan gap and death tolls and hospitalizations is getting more stark. showing the intentional political divide that's been created. health care workers have spent nearly two years in the trerchgs of the virus, and they've hit their -- states like florida are going further to back the guidance of public health officials. we'll dive into that and more. there's been some activity as i hinted at before in the rittenhouse trial. when we have facts, that's when we'll bring them to you. today was the day the house has nearly passed the 1 $.7 trillion social spending package. we'll dive into the fate of that legislation going forward. but we're going to begin with the pandemic. it's the albatross around not just the administration's neck, all of necks. our inability to get past this as a country, we're hurting ourselves. we'll say this. as covid goes, so goes the biden presidency. right now the presidency is not going well, and if you look at covid, it may be because covid
is not going well. we're back to nearly 100,000 cases. infection rates across the united states have gone up nearly 30 % in the past seven days. health officials are urging vaccinated americans to get those booster shots. particularly if you got a vaccination in january or february. as the fda today cleared pfizer and moderna's boosters for all adults. the pandemic has been relentless. since biden tried to declare independence from it on january 4th, more than 1060,000 americans have been added to the death toll. most of those recent days, all the unvaccinated. so the folks with blood on their hands there are the misinformers, particularly in right wing media. more than 77,000 people have die -- 770,000 of them have died in total. the administration this week has suspended the work on enforcing the vaccine mandate for private sector workers due to some legal
issues, thanks to the fifth circuit. and right now the white house does not seem anxious to focus more political capitol to fight politicizing this. they are fighting powerful disinformation and defiance. according to data from the new york times and the cdc, 19 of the 20 counties with the highest covid death rates per capita are all in deep red america. they all went for trump. if only the former president would convince these folks to get vaccinated. but he did not. this is the same trend as hospitals with the highest hospitalization rate. the ten most vaccinated states, a sea of blue. all went for biden in 2020, every one of them. and every one of the least vaccinated states went for trump with the exception of one. the state of georgia. this next fraught phase of the
president's battle against the pandemic is where we start our show today. but before we dig more into covid, we can report there is a verdict in the rittenhouse trial, and so we are going to take you there to kenosha right now. shaquille brewster is with us. shaq, after three and a half days of deliberations, and the families are being brought into the courtroom, certainly created a lot of thoughts that something was up and indeed, it appears we now have a verdict. >> that's right. the judge just took the bench. he announced the jury has reached a verdict in this case. it seems as if he's waiting for the jury to be brought down. that part wasn't clear across the feed, but this is all happening just in literally the past couple seconds as you were starting the show. there's not much happening on the feed right now. you mentioned this is day four now of the deliberations. the jury has been out since tuesday. tuesday morning is when they started. of course, we know they're deliberating and going over
these five felony counts, that kyle rittenhouse is facing. not only are there those five felony counts but also the lesser-included charges in two of those counts. it's a lot of material that they've been going through, and deliberating through. we do know and haven't gotten many indications from the jury over the course of the deliberations. we do know, for example, that it was earlier this week that they asked for more video. they wanted to see the video evidence. they wanted access to that video evidence. of course, we knew that video was going to be a crucial part of this case. much of both instances, both shootings that are being litigated in the trial were captured on video. they asked for that video evidence. there's also a period in time in which the judge cleared out the courtroom so they can come down to the courtroom and watch on the bigger screens. one of the drone videos that was a piece of the evidence. and we also knew last night, right before jurors were dismissed and when they went home, one of the jurors asked if she could bring back her jury
instructions. that's the 36-page document that even the attorneys and judge admitted were complicated and chuck, i'm going to stop right now. it looks as if the jury is in the room based on everyone being seated, and i'll just let you go ahead and listen to what the judge has to say, assuming he'll be talking. >> let's see if we have audio right now. and if they've opened it up. we obviously have a visual. let's see if we have the audio. it doesn't look like anybody is speaking. yeah. shaq, let's remind people of the two counts that the jury could go with lesser charges on them. walk us through that. >> yeah. and those are the -- so kyle rittenhouse has five counts. the highest one carries the life sentence. it's count four. that kind of goes out of order. but count four is the first
degree intentional homicide. that's the life sentence. that was for the death of anthony huber. the two lower counts within those are the reckless homicide and second degree intentional homicide. outside of the lower counts, you have kill rittenhouse -- >> let's listen in. >> reporter: the judge is speaking right now. let's go to that. >> thanks, shaq. . >> our timing is impeccable these days, shaq. all right. shaq, we -- we e don't have any audio right now. he is talking. >> reporter: i'll let you stop me, chuck. >> i will stop you. go ahead. i will stop you. walk us through the counts. this is an important part of this that people need to be prepared for. >> exactly. let's start from the top. the five felony counts that rittenhouse is facing.
the first one is the first degree reckless homicide. that carries a maximum penalty of 60 years. count two, first degree reckless endangering of safety. that's for the shooting of mr. mcginnis. not the shooting but putting the prosecution's arguing that he was shot at. and that carries 12 1/2 years in prison. there's a third degree -- or a count three is a first degree reckless endangering of safety. that's for the men who they call him the jump kick man. the man who appeared to kick kyle rittenhouse in the face. he also was shot at over the course of this incident. and then you have count four. it's the first degree intentional homicide. that is the biggest count that kyle rittenhouse is facing. it carries the life sentence, and other states, that's essentially called first degree murder, but wisconsin has different statutes so it's called the intentional homicide here. and count number five is the first degree attempted first degree intentional homicide. and that carries the 60-year
penalty for both of those counts, there are two counts under them that the jury can also consider. so essentially they're going through, and they had about seven counts that they could -- that they were deliberating and going through. now, a big part of this case, and let's remind our viewers what both sides are arguing. you have the defense representing kyle rittenhouse. they're saying that this was a 17-year-old who was acting in self-defense. they say he was being chased. they say that he was being threatened. he feared for his life, and his safety, and he was simply responding to the threat. kyle rittenhouse took the stand in the trial. there was the moment where he broke down on the stand, and that became somewhat of a controversial moment. >> all right, shaq. >> let's listen to the judge. >> i think we're hearing something. >> there can't be any reaction at all, no matter how strongly you may feel. and it's understood that many people do have strong feelings, but we can't permit any kind of a reaction to the verdict, and
>> shaq, when you go back and we know the only -- you said they asked for more video to see that. and then you look at that, i mean, it impacts every one of the counts that they are debating. so we can't really even say oh, that means they were really needing more information on x. is that fair to say? >> reporter: exactly. it's hard to read into what the jury is asking for. i mean, when video was such a crucial part of this case for both sides, for the defense and prosecution. you can't really read too much into what the jury was thinking. i think it's fair to assume that they wanted to see the video as they were going through the conversations and locked away in the room for 24 hours. i mentioned what the defense has been saying, this is an act of self-defense. the prosecution has been saying that kyle rittenhouse put himself in this position. you heard them saying you can't claim self-defense for a situation that you created.
they say that he came from an yok, illinois, crossed state lines. that's become a phrase you heard over and over, though kyle rittenhouse says he has family ties to kenosha but came that -- >> all right, shaq. the jury -- it looks like -- here we go. >> has the jury reached a verdict as to each count of the information? >> yes, we have, your honor. >> one verdict and one jerkt only? >> yes. >> would you hand all the paperwork to the bailiff, please? everything. thanks. may i see that too, please? >> i'm sorry. >> thank you.
the defendant will rise and face the jury and harken to the verdicts. >> the state of wisconsin versus kyle rittenhouse the first count of the information, joseph rosenbaum, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. as to the second count of the information, richard mcginnis, we the jury kind the defendant not guilty. as to the third count of the information unknown male, we the jury find the defendant kyle h. rittenhouse not guilty. as to the fourth count of the information, anthony huber, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. as to the fifth count of the information, gaige grosskreutz, we the jury find the defendant
kyle h. rittenhouse not guilty. >> members of the jury, these are unanimous verdicts. is there anyone who does not agree with the verdicts as read? >> okay. okay, folks, your job is done, and we started just about three weeks ago. and i told you it could last two weeks and two days. this is three weeks. you were a wonderful jury to work with. you were punctual, attentive. and the forgotten six over here who have very difficult job of keeping from discussing the case during the time they were sequestered as well, all of you, you just -- i couldn't have asked for a better jury to work with. and it has truly been my pleasure.
i think without commenting on your verdict, the verdicts themselves, just in terms of your -- the attentiveness and the cooperation that you gave to us, justifies the confidence that the founders of our country placed in you. you're never under any obligation to discuss any aspect of this case with anyone. you're welcome to do so as little or as much as you want. the media have requested a number of media sources have requested the ability to talk to you, and they have been allowed to present presentations to you that you'll get in writing, and it's entirely up to you whether you want to contact them. they are not to contact you. if anyone does contact you and
just you tell them you're not interested in discussing it, if that's the case. and if anyone persists in doing so, report that to us, and it will be addressed. i assure you. at the beginning of the trial there was some concern about information and your safety, and i assure you that we will take every measure to ensure that that is -- your concerns are addressed and respected. and i'm going to talk to you for just a minute, not about anything to do with the case, but just about that sole issue, and you -- as i say, you're welcome to discuss the case as little or as much as you want. and any questions, anybody? thank you so much. and after four years, you're
eligible for service again. it would be my pleasure to work with you. thank you. i think it's in the library. it's not going to be more than a minute or maybe it will be. take them upstairs. that's fine. that's fine. >> shaquille brewster, there it is. not guilty on all five counts this. we saw kyle rittenhouse's reaction, not surprising considering i think what i'm sure he was thinking about what he could be facing. and he obviously has quite an emotional relief to him. the families of those that were killed by rittenhouse, we haven't heard from them. obviously we didn't have a camera on them. so shaq, what -- have you gotten any reactions yet from any of the other family members? >> we haven't gotten any
reactions from the family members, though, we do know and expect to hear from the family of jacob blake. of course, this was the protest. that was the reason why this protest was happening when kyle rittenhouse shot those two men. they were expecting to hear a press conference from them a little bit later this afternoon. i'll tell you, outside the courthouse, i am slightly removed from the steps where you have the crowd of people, the demonstrators that have been here throughout the trial. people both standing there in opposition and hoping for the conviction of kyle rittenhouse and those who were advocating for his acquittal, which they received. what we heard is someone came out of the courthouse and yelled, quote, he's not guilty. and you heard the crowd erupt. there was lots of god bless america. and this is coming from our producer who is over there. and people saying the second amendment won. and you have a split. you have a divide right there on the courthouse steps, including justin blake, the uncle of jacob
blake, who has been out here every day of the trial, even when temperatures were dropping into the 20s, he was advocating, saying he wanted justice for the family of anthony huber and justin rosenbaum. things are peaceful. we haven't seen any skirmishes. that has been a fare for so. . this is a town that went through a lot last august. not only this shooting but the reaction to the shooting of jacob blake. there are five schools here that have gone to virtual learning because of the fear of what could happen after a potential verdict. the national guard is on stand by. they've been standing by outside of kenosha, about 500 members of the national guard. there have been a handful of arrests throughout this trial and throughout the deliberations this. we heard from the count sheriff yesterday who said that things have been peaceful despite the fears and he hopes to keep it that way. we'll definitely watch for
reaction, especially for the families of those two men who were killed, and i think one other point i just want to add quickly is that one thing you heard in the trial, and we heard this from the girlfriend of i believe it was anthony huber. the frustration that she expressed when she was talking to a reporter with our affiliate of the fact that she didn't feel that someone was in the courtroom defending her loved one. you know, we heard the prosecution even in this case as they were trying and pushing for the conviction of kyle rittenhouse, they didn't praise the men that were killed. they didn't say they were upstanding individuals. they called one of the men a small guy with a napoleon complex picking on another small guy. >> shaq, i want to pause you there. jacob blake's uncle is peeking right now. we want to listen to that. hang on with me. >> this has been never been
taking -- never been about tearing down communities. been about building communities. it's been about unity. we're going to maintain peace and protest in these streets and all over america, our voices are going to be heard. all over america our feet are going to take the streets of america. because we still have ahmaud arbery. we still have charlottesville, virginia, and the fight continues. we know the truth. and one thing about the truth, the truth will make you free. we're not satisfied. we're not going to be pacified. and we're not going to -- >> that is not jacob blake's uncle. we got some bad information to us. when we turn that camera on, my apologies for that. shaq, i want to go back, let you finish what you were going to say. i think it's clear what you were bringing up was feeding into a question i have for you. the prosecution is now going to be backseat driven by a lot of
people here. the decisions they made. what they decided, what counts they brought. obviously they're going to claim there were some pieces of evidence they want get to present that they think would have strengthened their case. there will be some of that, but it's interesting when you say that those -- the deceased's family didn't feel like anybody was speaking for them. that feels like an indirect critique of the prosecution. >> it could be, chuck. and you know, i mean, it really -- it's hard to go back and analyze that. because there are so many factors at play. i think one thing that made this trial unique, and it's different from some of the other trials. sometimes you the prosecution and defense try to separate what is being litigated from the cultural undercurrents of the time. i wish i had a better phrase for that. what i mean by that is we talk about the idea of vigilanteism and the idea of self-defense, of the second amendment.
the prosecution and defense leaned into those things as they were lag out their case. the prosecution called rittenhouse a vigilante, said he was here looking for trouble. the defense at one point in the closing arguments tried to justify or -- justified kyle rittenhouse's actions by saying that the shooting of jacob blake was ruled a justified shoot. they really leaned into the divides that you had. what you hear outside the courthouse, people wrapping this in the social justice movement, they connected that into the prosecution and the defense. of course, the prosecution expressed a lot of frustration. they got yelled at by the judge in open court many, many times. they were not happy. there was that tension there that you -- that existed. so yes, they probably will argue that they were not able to present the best case that they thought they had. there was evidence that they believed was crucial to the case that the judge ruled against.
but part of that is what you have with any trial. you have that -- those negotiations and those debates with any trial that is -- i think the sentiment you heard from the families of those who were decreased is in the prosecution presenting what they thought was their best case at the time, and what they were able to present, there was no one talking about their loved ones in a personal manner, and i think that just goes to the pain that this is a tragedy. anyone acknowledges this is a tragedy. that goes to the added pain. you mentioned jacob blake's uncle was at the courthouse steps. i think we got to the feed yet. he said we are not satisfied. he said we saw the video, three people shot. he said this case shouldn't have been about the black and white. it's about right and wrong. and he says in spite of the verdict, we know what we saw. so there's that frustration there. there will be that reaction that
we have there. and there are many people who have been anticipating this verdict, and this verdict has now come. and it results in the acquittal of kyle rittenhouse. >> shaq, stick around. i have joyce and danny with me. a former prosecutor and long-time defense attorney. joyce, was this a well-defended case or poorly prosecuted case, or a little bit of both? >> you know, there was some of everything not to like in this case. from the way the judge conducted it to some of the strategic decisions the prosecution made. the defense, you know, as we say, was good enough. and the key point of the defense was arguing self-defense. as a former prosecutor, this strikes me as an odd situation for self-december. it's something akin to saying that if you go in a bank and rob it and people are trying to apprehend you, you can shoot your way out and claim self-defense. that's a little bit what kyle
rittenhouse did. he created this problem, and then proceeded to threaten people to get out. typically you can't claim self-defense in a situation where you've provoked the incident. but the defense did a good enough job of convincing jurors this was a unanimous verdict on all counts. this jury was thoroughly convinced. >> danny, i would -- same question to you. was this an easy defense? poor prosecution? friendly judge? tough? what's your sense? >> there is no such thing as an easy defense. it wasn't that it was a poor prosecution but poor facts for the prosecution. in wisconsin the prosecution had to disprove self-defense. all the elements, or any one of them beyond a reasonable doubt in addition to proving their case. at the last minute, they got the provocation instruction. that could completely up-end the
self-defense defense. but to win on prosecution, they needed to convince a jury that to initiate that confrontation with joseph rosenbaum, that kyle rittenhouse was the one who started it. and the only evidence they ever had of that was this grienny pixlated video imagery that showed up mid trial, and as the defense correctly pointed out, provocation was so important to the prosecution, that they mentioned it in their opening statement 0.0 times. so here the prosecution really, it can't be said they weren't aggressive. in fact, it's their aggressiveness that almost got them in a lot of trouble. they almost crossed several lines. in this case, prosecution did their best, but they didn't have particularly good facts. the defense did a good job. an acquittal on all counts is a good picture no matter how you paint it. >> on the charges they brought, they didn't have that -- they
didn't have cha tharj that possibly -- and we won't know until we get an idea of where the juror's heads were, but you could see it in the way various people would react to this trial. what was he doing there? gosh, why was that happening at the same time this. that there was -- that -- did they miss out? should they have found another lesser charge to put in there that would have been an easier case to prove? >> you know, i'm not sure that that is the issue here. the prosecution's real problems began when one of their key witnesses, the victim who survived, took the witness stand, and he essentially on cross examination conceded self-defense. talked about the fact that there was a gun in his hand. the prosecution tried to argue their way out of that situation. but i think the die was cast in a significant way at that point. >> and danny, now obviously it looks like putting kyle
rittenhouse on the stand was a great move. did they need to do it? >> it's so easy now to see oh, brilliant move. i will jump in and say yes, it was. why? because there was an acquittal. arguably, they didn't need it because there was so much video evidence. they could have rested on the prosecution's burden, but at the same time, it was a gambit that is rarely taken. don't be fooled by the ahmaud arbery, the fact that we've seen two -- it didn't hurt them. we measure it by the fact that there was an acquittal. could they have got ton that same place without him testifying? i believe so. this was not desperation, we have to put up our client or we have nothing. they had stuff. the defense made a strategy that the jury might identify with rittenhouse. maybe they were right. for now an acquittal is a win however you take it. >> joyce, how do you feel about
cameras in the courtroom? >> i think we absolutely need to have more of it. the important thing about our criminal justice system is it only works if people have confidence in it. and we only fix problems if people are aware of them. so a big part of the country has been engaged in a significant number of criminal trials in the last year. that's because they've become more available through covid. state courts do a better job in this area than the federal courts do. i think it's time for the federal courts to follow the state courts' lead. >> danny, same question to you. i sit there, there's part of me that loves the transparency, and there's part of me that wonders is it good for the country to have 330 million backseat lawyers and backseat judge sfls zblim with joyce on this one. the courts are supposed to be public. we we came up with that concept of being open to the public, all you had was a scroll, maybe a pen that looked like a feather and somebody shouting in the
town square. technology has advanced and we can live stream anywhere from the comfort of our phone. so with the idea that the court should be public, i don't think anything has changed just because technology has moved on from the time of the framers. so i'm with joyce. i think cameras in the courtroom are a good thing. does it mean that attorneys sometimes play up to an audience instead of the way they should to the courtroom? maybe, but here i think the benefits outweigh the burdens. >> david henderson, a civil rights attorney here. david, if you're the family of the dead victims here, what's your next -- do you have another place to go? do they go to a civil suit? is it against the city? is it against mr. rittenhouse? do they have another avenue here for justice in their minds? >> chuck, i think the way to
answer that question is to tell you what i would tell them if they walked into my officer, i would tell them. no. i don't think it's an effective lawsuit. i think it would lead to more frustration. this goes back to something you stressed earlier when i was first joining. that is, it does represent a failure on the part of the prosecution. and i don't like to say negative things about other lawyers unless i have to, but here as a former special crimes prosecutor, you've got laws to ensure certain protections and rights for the victims of violent crimes, and that extends to family members. if they feel dissatisfied with the prosecution, part of what yo ultimately have to look at is the fact that those prosecutors did not reassure them that they were going to do their best to make sure justice was served. that doesn't mean you get a guilty verdict. that means you help the family understand that you did everything you could in the courtroom, because that's the only way people can get closure under circumstances like this. >> well, backseat drive.
what would you have differently? obviously you think the prosecution didn't deal with the families very well. what would you have done differently in the courtroom? >> chuck, let's start off by saying this. wisconsin doesn't have what you'd call a true manslaughter statute. they have different versions of murder charges. some people think their equivalent of manslaughter is second degree intentional homicide. i would argue it's their version of third degree reckless homicide. the first shooting that rittenhouse committed, what do you think it is? a murder or a manslaughter? almost everyone i pose that question to says it's murder. look at the way they presented the case. it's not. they essentially charged him with manslaughter based on the first crime and murder based on the second person he shot, the young man who tried to stop him by hitting him with a skateboard. that makes for a disconnected case in the terms of the way you outline your facts. it makes it confusing for the jury when they go back there and
deliberate. a more effective approach would be to charge rittenhouse with second degree intentional homicide for all of the shootings he committed and the attempt. it makes it easier for you to present evidence. and then move into your argument during jury deliberations. also the jury was not given any instruction about how to actually work through the charge which is critical when you want them to reach a conviction. part of what's not intuitive as a trial lawyer is to be effective, you have to be a teacher. you have to teach the jury what the law is. and you have to lay out how they're supposed to follow the law during the course of the trial. part of what we saw here is the fundamental lack of understanding about how you tell a story in the context of a criminal charge. if i had to put it on one thing, that's ultimately where the prosecution failed here. >> the judge was mercurial. i want to get all your opinions on this. joyce vance, knowing that, and i would argue that the people that should have known the most about this judge's habits, shall we
call them, are the folks in kenosha. i have to tell you, in my observation, it seems as if the prosecution seemed to be surprised by some of the judge's actions. the more i read about this judge j they shouldn't have been. did they mishandle it? >> oh one of the things you know as the prosecution is you don't get a second shot at the trial. the prosecution doesn't get to take an appeal and ask a court to reverse the trial judge for misconduct. your only shot is in the first trial. so for prosecutors to not have anticipated that this judge would pull some of the antics that he's infamous for locally is likely a misstep. they did look surprised at times. and we've talked a little bit danny mentioned this real -- during cross examination of the defendant, they straight out of
the box dangerously veered toward commenting on the defendant's failure to speak with police when he was in custody early on. this gave the judge the opportunity to go bull boar on them. it likely created some bad impressions with the jury. their handling of the judge throughout was problematic. >> danny, it did obviously when you're the defense lawyer and you see the prosecution is in the judge's cross hairs, you stay out of the way, i assume? >> yeah, but 90% of the time, i mean, maybe this is just the defense attorney in me. if anyone thought that the judge was biassed against the prosecution, it feels like to me it's 9 0% of the time the other way. but again, i'm biassed. and you know, it may be true that in federal court you don't see this kind of behavior from a judge. but let's face it. when you get to state court and judges are elected, i know there are defense attorneys and local das out there watching this saying yeah, you think that judge was cracrazy?
you should say so and so, that guy is out of his mind. when you have elected judges, you get a lot more random folks on the bench. you get good jurists but interesting folks. was this judge someone you would likely find at the supreme court house? no. but if s he someone you might see a state courthouse or municipal courthouse on a random tuesday? absolutely. these judges are out there. >> look, i -- one of the things that i can't explain in our democracy how you can have a judge face the voters. i don't get it, but that's me. it doesn't make any sense. i don't know how you can expect a judge to be impartial if they have to face voters and win election or reelection. david henderson, how would you have managed this judge? >> you know, i agree with what both joyce and danny are saying. when you're in court, you have to play the hand that you're dealt. if getting a good judge is what justice depends on, we're in trouble when it comes to state
court. 90% of the time they would be yelling at the defense, not the prosecution. most of the time that's true. in a case like this, the roles are often reversed. and so i think a fundamental aspect of managing this judge was managing the presentation of the evidence. i thought the state went down roads they didn't need to and should not have with regard to making this case more politically charged than it needed to be. this should have been a theme based primarily on safety. the message should have been look, despite all the background noise here, all we're trying to do is keep people safe. and you can't keep people safe when you've got somebody running around and shooting people and putting other people at risk. that's what we are focussed on. i don't care what your politics are. you've got to admit that having two people shot and killed at a protest, and a third person nearly shot, and all the people that are placed in harm's way is something we can't take for granted, and that's what justice is. i think if you do that, it helps
you manage the judge. the things that set the judge off had more to do with the politics underlying the way this case was tried. i'm not saying it would have been perfect, but you could have avoided a lot of it. >> i think that was well said. i mean, you know, i'm not a lawyer, but watching the prosecution here, it just seemed as if you want to say read the room. let me go to gabe gutierrez in the crowd outside of the courtroom. what are you seeing and hearing? what are people talking to you about? >> reporter: hi there, chuck. there's a lot of media presence here. you can see two my right, your left, the crowd gathered around. this is the uncle of jacob blake. he's walking up speaking here. we've seen people here on both sides of the issue. but i'm speaking here with a man who -- you came from pretty far off to be here. tell me, what was your reaction to the verdict? in your opinion, what does this mean for the second amendment? >> i'm happy about the verdict,
and my young hero, kyle, 1,000-year-old right of self-defense was vindicated, but i'm also sad for the gentlemen that died and the third injured. >> reporter: what did you make of the prosecution's argument that you shouldn't be able to provoke the danger and then claim self-defense? >> that's a correct statement of the law. in washington state we call it the initial aggressor doctrine. >> reporter: that's what the prosecution said. the jury didn't agree. >> but they could have found provocation. but they didn't. so i think it's a victory for the 1,000-year-old right of self-defense and our young hero, kyle, but we don't want to celebrate too much because two people died and a third was seriously injured. >> reporter: thank you very much. such a complicated case. some days the limits of self-defense. we've been here throughout the trial. there's been small crowds of demonstrations in front of the courthouse, largely peaceful.
minor squirmishes and arrests. after the verdict was read, you heard what you heard that man said, that the second amendment still stands. certainly supporters of kyle rittenhouse will see it that way. of course the folks that thought that he should have been found guilty, there is a lot of disappointment here. and we'll see that play out over the coming hours. the city of kenosha preparing for this moment. schools switched to virtual learning here in anticipation of the verdict. so far things seem to be peaceful. local authorities hope it stays that way. >> cold weather may help as well. anyway, gabe gutierrez outside of the courthouse for us. gabe, thank you. >> i'm going to go back to joyce and david here. david, i think you said it well when you were talking about how the prosecution should have thought about basically doing everything they could to sort of take some of the politics out of their presentation and out of their charges. and i guess ultimately, what is
this case revealing about us as a society? you know, is this a case of we've got a -- we obviously are divided on race. our gun laws are very polarizing in this country as well. it is interesting to me that you're going to have folks on one side of the political aisle see this through the prism of race and on the other side claim the second amendment. the question is if you're an elected official in wisconsin, what are you looking at? are you looking at your gun laws? >> you know, chuck, i think the first thing that stands out to me here, and i'll go back on something that joyce said. that is if you build on the point she was making which i agree with, we don't understand what modern prosecution needs to be. this era has shown we have a fundamental look of certainty about what it needs to entail. do you go back and look at gun laws? you do, but what you have to look at in this case, if you look at the first charge against
shooting rosenbaum, it begs the question why did you charge first degree reckless homicide. i don't think there's any conclusion aside from the fact that they didn't have a clear view of what happened. it seemed like that part fact pattern they were reevaluated as they went along. that's specific to the trial to hear questions with regard to gun laws. at some point you're going to have to ask the question, what does it mean to have open carry and stand your ground laws under circumstances where people are going to be taking guns into volatile situations? when i look at this, i think of the movie "tombstone". even in the movie about the wild west, they understood you can own a gun, carry a gun, you can't carry your gun in town. and basically they were saying, under situations where emotions are going to be high, you might want to back off having a weapon in that situation, because when things are getting heated, and rittenhouse put his gun in the back of a trunk, two people would be alive and one would not be permanently disabled.
it's hard to say that reasonably that's not what should have happened here. >> joyce, look, there's a obvious trend that's taking place across the country over the last decade. whether it's enshrining the stand your ground laws in different localities. whether state law or not. and i think you're just seeing a more pervasive. this was a jury of the kenosha public here. a -- more of an acceptance. there's a lot of guns in a lot of places. so we're going to have a lot more of these trials, i think, where self-defense is going to be getting taken more seriously by more juries. >> i think that that is absolutely right. and i'm reminded as david mentioned "tombstone" in alabama when our open carry laws were passed, i was still the u.s. attorney here, and i fielded a lot of phone calls from sheriffs
who were concerned about people taking guns, for instance, into football games or into other venues where there were a lot of people and the prospect of animated tempers. and so a lot of thought was put into how they would keep guns out of those venues. but, of course, those conversations are happening very quietly. because in our political context, in a certain segment of the country, it's become popular to promote the second amendment at the expense of common sense public safety sort of concerns, interestingly the supreme court has a case on its docket that will consider some of those issues. the new york case that determines whether everyone is entitled to a concealed carry permit, and in that oral argument, some of the supreme court justices seemed to play a little bit against type justice amy coney barrett questioned whether it wouldn't be okay to require people to relinquish their gun in high risk
situations. for instance, new year's eve in new york. the question is whether common sense private/public safety concerns with animate themselves in the face of the second amendment politicized issues. >> david, have you thought about different ways you've got to deal with when you're dealing with certain civil rights cases, and this stand your ground law? and how to -- >> absolutely. >> and how to go at this differently? go ahead. >> absolutely, chuck. but when you asked me about how i'm going to dee with certain cases in the stand your ground law, what people need to keep in mind is there is a kyle rittenhouse at every major protest in the country after george floyd's murder. in dallas several journalist sent u photographs of what was going on. me in my -- out walking around. it didn't occur many to me they
were citizens out there i guess protecting the public from peaceful protesters. as a civil rights lawyer, when i look at this, what i notice is when "the new york times" was first reporting on the kyle rittenhouse story and interviewing people which you can see in their documentary, a couple protesters took guns out. the same way grosskreutz did saying they wouldn't normally do it, but given the tensions, they felt like they had to. you have protesters doing that, and other people take it into their own hands, you're creating a volatile situation at a time when the two major areas for civil rights are police reform and voting rights. you're not going to see progress without activism. when you're seeing the activism now, for me as a civil rights lawyer, i have to be afraid people are going to be there with guns and get hurt over discussions we should be able to have peacefully. >> and the thing is you're going to see others who have been uncomfortable owning a gun deciding they may need to for
their own public safety. and it becomes a -- a pretty uncomfortable spiral. gabe gutierrez, i think you just spoke to jacob blake's uncle. what did he tell you? >> reporter: hey there, chuck. yes, justin blake is over there. we spoke with him. it's a bit of a crowded situation over here. i want to see if i can catch up with him right now. he told me he's disappointed with the verdict. he called rittenhouse a provocateur and said he was furious at verdict. you can see we're going to get a microphone in here. it's a little tight. >> we're not going to stop. we're going to use peace. >> i'm going to send it back to you quickly. i'm not sure if we can hear what's going on there right now. jacob blake was the man who was shot and paralyzed that launched the unrest right before --
>> it still goes on -- >> turn some of that. over here. see if i can throw him a question live. one second. >> yes. not at all. i mean, if they didn't convict the police officer for his dirty that shot my nephew in the back several times, we had hopes because this is a jury of 12. but when you have the guy who is presiding over the whole thing puts his hands on the scale and allows this young man to walk out, he gave him a pass. he didn't allow evidence in. if somebody said they were going to kill somebody with an ar-1530 days ago and they do it 30 days later, that's good evidence. if somebody shows the cowboy sign and goes into a bar at 17 and throws it up again, you know his ideology. they talk about harming african americans. they talk about harming minorities. and he acted it out. now, you tell us why he got a
free ride. his bail money was rised by the proud boys, the nazis, the skin heads. are they plugged up in this courtroom? do we know the history of this judge? i heard he's been racist for many years. do we know his history of this judge? do we know his background? listen, we got thick skin. my great-grandfather, my grandfather, we're going to keep fighting this until we win. >> mr. blake, we're live on msnbc. what did you think of mr. rittenhouse's argument? >> there was no self-defense. self-defense is when you're protecting your home, your protecting your family. he in a dastardly way used the law. there was no self-defense. >> reporter: jacob blake's uncle speaking to reporters back there.
he is obviously very disappointed in this verdict, furious as what he sees as a miscarriage of justice. we spoke to supporters of kyle rittenhouse who see this as a victory for the second amendment. it's been peaceful here and the hope by authorities is that kenosha stays peaceful as we head into to the. >> thank you, gabe. let me go to shaquille brewster, and shaq, you have a statement we just got into the newsroom, i think you can share that with us. what does it say? >> reporter: chuck, this is just coming in, extensive statement, i'm just going to read a bit of it. it starts by saying we are heartbroken and angry that kyle rittenhouse was acquitted in this criminal trial for the murder of our son anthony huber. there was no justice today for anthony or for mr. rittenhouse's other victims, joseph rosenbaum
and gaige grosskreutz. we did not attend the child because we could not bear to sit in the courtroom and watch videos of our son's murder. we watched the trial closely hoping it would bring us closure. they say, that did not happen. today's verdict means there's no accountability for the person who murdered our son. it sends an unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and use the danger they've created to justify shooting people in the street. that's, again, from the family of anthony huber, the 26-year-old. and one piece of context for this is, anthony huber was the man reflected in the fourth count of this case, the most significant count, and it was that first degree intentional homicide. again, what is considered first-degree murder in pretty much any other state. i think it underscores the pain that you have from the families of those who were shot and
killed by mr. rittenhouse, by kyle rittenhouse. of course the jury is saying that was justified, they acquitted him on the counts that he faced. but that coming in from the family of anthony huber right now. >> shaquille brewster with that for us, shaq, thank you. joyce vance, the huber statement brings up something uncomfortable. two people died, one almost died. and nobody's paying any penalty. now, some could argue that the trial itself was a form of penalty for mr. rittenhouse, what was facing him. but how does the huber family get closure? i don't know if they ever will. >> you know, it's a really difficult issue. and i'll speak to it personally, because my father-in-law who was a federal judge was murdered because of his judicial service. and ultimately the man who was responsible for killing him was convicted at trial in both state
and federal settings. and that fact of conviction does give families an enormous amount of closure. and something i've always been acutely aware of as a prosecutor is that there are a number of things that are important to victims. but among them is learning the truth and having people accept responsibility and be held accountable. and so in this setting, where yes, to some extent the family does know the truth, and they've been able in some cases to see video, as grainy as it is, yet the notion that kyle rittenhouse, who for instance when he was released pretrial, hung out with members of the proud boys and flashed white power signs, and now will not face any form of accountability for his acts, that's extraordinarily difficult for family members. one of the goals of our system has to be restorative justice, helping everyone involved in these situations, from defendants, perpetrators, to
family members, and victims, find a path forward. this trial in kenosha, wisconsin has not done that for the families of the victims and the victims themselves. >> david henderson, essentially, and you talked about this earlier, this should have been presented by the prosecution as a failure in public safety and should have been focused on public safety. the state failed. the state failed to create an environment that was safe. the state failed to prove who did make that period unsafe. and now we're in no man's land here as a society, where nobody's going to pay a price for these two dead americans. >> that's right, chuck. and if there's responsibility that lawyers have here, and i know people laugh at this because it seems like our profession is so far away from this at this point, but part of what we have a responsibility to do, and this is especially true when you're a prosecutor, is
help people heal. and so building on what joyce was just saying, one of the things i did when i was in special crimes is, i would tell people, look, i cannot promise you an outcome and any lawyer who says they can is lying to you. but what i hope i can promise you is when you look back, you won't feel like you could have had a smarter lawyer who fought harder for you. we need to make that promise to the country represent. that is by letting them see the arguments we make in court, how they can lead to harmony for society. we're bursting at the seams in our society and if we don't start doing more of that, i'm afraid of where things may go. the argument i'm making for public safety stems from that context, just the need to help restore our society to the point where people have hope for the future and being able to come together better as a country. >> justice -- joyce, the public
safety umbrella might be the best way to change this conversation on the second amendment. >> dave makes an excellent point here that this case should have all day been about public safety and what the jury should have been considering from opening statement, maybe from voir dire when they were selected onward, is how they would have felt if they were in that crowd with kyle rittenhouse free to stalk through the crowd with his gun in hand and then claim self-defense for whatever he did. because that narrative was absent here, i think that much of the outcome that we saw today was attributable to that failure of narrative by the prosecution. and this is an important conversation to have nationwide, as we think about not just healing communities, but making them safer, preparing them for the next incident, because there will be more protests. there will obviously be more kyle rittenhouses out in these crowds. the question we now have to face is, are we safer after this verdict, are we safe if we let
someone like kyle rittenhouse kill people and then claim self-defense? do we need better laws that protect us better? and the answer is clearly yes after today. >> to listen to the way joyce just framed that, david, when she said are we safer today, it's pretty obvious to me, more people, the next time there's a protest of some sort, and it may get politicized, that gun owners with a certain ideology may feel incentivized now, may feel even emboldened. that does seem to be an uncomfortable message that may be received by some. >> i think that's the obvious message to take away from this, chuck. i always try to look for the silver lining when i can. but here, it's think about what happened. a kid had an ar-15 strapped to his body, and he argued that on the theory that i may face lethal force in the future because a person may -- who never touched him -- get his hands on my gun and wrestle it
away and once he's wrestled away, turn and kill me, based on that theory of a potential fear in the future, the jury found he was justified in shooting and killing someone in the present. and so i think that, yes, if you take your gun to a protest in the future or any heated situation, i think you're inclined to feel like you're within your rights to use it, and that's very dangerous for all of us. >> joyce vance and david henderson, you guys have been terrific, thank you for helping us get through and understand this verdict, understand the impact of it, where we could be headed next. to summarize, and obviously our coverage will continue here, kyle rittenhouse has been acquitted on all five counts here. we have reaction coming in. we have reporters on the ground in kenosha. my friend katy tur will take the baton now and lead our coverage going forward. katy, take it away. >> great analysis there from david henderson. we begin this hour with
breaking news. after four days of deliberation, a jury of his peers found kyle rittenhouse not guilty on all counts. rittenhouse collapsed in the kenosha, wisconsin courtroom as the final not guilty verdict was read. rittenhouse himself took the stand in his own defense, a risky move that approved successful for the defense. in and out conversation will turn to what's going to happen next. what affect will this case have on things like vigilanteism and self-defense arguments? not to mention what happens immediately in the city of kenosha. joining me from the courthouse in kenosha, wisconsin, nbc correspondent shaquille brewster. former federal prosecutor paul butler. nbc legal analyst danny cevallos. and former assistant district attorney in milwaukee county, julius kim. shaq, what is it like in kenosha right now?
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