Kyle Rittenhouse shooting spurs lawsuits against city of Kenosha
A man who was injured and the family of a protester who died after being shot allegedly by Kyle Rittenhouse during demonstrations in Kenosha over the summer are now seeking $20 million in damages from the Wisconsin city, its county and law enforcement.
Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, and the parents of Anthony Huber announced their intent to sue in recently issued claim notices, which typically precede lawsuits against local governments, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
"We believe there was some level of negligence on behalf of the city and county," Grosskreutz’s attorney, Kimberly Motley, told the newspaper.
Joseph Rosenbaum, also a protester, was killed in the shooting as well.
Both claim notices, which were obtained by WTMJ, allege that "Kyle Rittenhouse, a minor from out of state, illegally armed with an assault rifle, was allowed – by the Kenosha Police and Kenosha Sheriff’s Department – to roam the streets, threatening numerous civilians and ultimately shooting three people."
Grosskreutz’s document states that he has "suffered significant permanent physical damage, pain and suffering, loss of income and future earnings" following the Aug. 25 shooting.
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"Mr. Grosskreutz was in Kenosha for the purpose of providing basic medical assistance to persons who were out that night protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake," it also says. "There was no justification for Gaige to be shot at point blank range by Kyle Rittenhouse."
The document written on behalf of Huber’s parents states that he "lost his life to protect innocent civilians" and they, in turn, have "suffered damages on their own behalf, including for the loss of companionship of their son."
"After Rittenhouse had already shot and killed one person, Anthony selflessly tried to disarm him and was killed himself," it adds.
Both documents were issued against "the City of Kenosha, Kenosha County, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, Police Chief [Daniel] Miskinis, Sheriff [David] Beth, and as-yet unknown employees or former employees" of the city and its law enforcement – and each seek $10 million in compensation.
Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Antioch, Ill., was charged in August with multiple counts in the fatal shootings of Rosenbaum and Huber, and in the wounding of Grosskreutz, including reckless and intentional homicide, endangerment and being a minor in possession of a firearm.
Rittenhouse was freed from jail in November after posting a $2 million bond and a judge ruled in December that he will stand trial.
He told police he was attacked while guarding a business and that he fired in self-defense during demonstrations and civil unrest that broke out in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a local Black man.
Meanwhile, the city of Kenosha is preparing for protests when a charging decision comes for the officers involved in the Blake incident, officials said Sunday. A decision is expected within the next two weeks.
The safety efforts will include designation of a demonstration space, limitations on city bus routes, road closures, curfew and protective fencing, Mayor John Antaramian and Police Chief Miskinis said in a news release.
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Blake was shot in the back seven times on Aug. 23 after walking away from a white police officer and two others who were trying to arrest him. The officer, Rusten Sheskey, shot Blake after Blake opened an SUV’s driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle. Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down.
The shooting was captured on video and circulated quickly online, fueling large protests in Kenosha that caused millions of dollars in damage to public and private property.
Sheskey and the other officers who were at the scene have been placed on administrative leave.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.