Is Kyle Rittenhouse Hispanic or Caucasian? Court records list teen’s race differently
Kyle Rittenhouse has been in the news since last year when he shot and killed two men -- Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, Anthony Huber, 26 -- and wounded another one -- Gaige Grosskreutz, 28, on the night of August 25, 2020. Interest in his life has always been high and more so after rumors regarding race dominated the conversations on social media. In the wake of the 'not guilty' verdict granted to him, the issue of race again reared its head with a certain section of social media arguing that had he been Black, the outcome of the verdict would have been different.
Among the charges filed against him were first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, and use of a dangerous weapon. However, on Friday, November 19, Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges by the jurors, which left many furious and angry at the US justice system.
IF HE WAS BLACK HED BE LABELED AGGRESSIVE AND PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN SHOT . STOP SAYING ITS NOT ABOUT RACE BC IT IS. #KyleRittenhouse— CJ is AC bound (@dharma_divine) November 19, 2021
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Some like Colin Kapernick blamed “white supremacy” for the judgment. They said if some Black teen would have done the same, he/she would have been easily convicted. But since Rittenhouse is White, he has been freed.
Is Kyle Rittenhouse Hispanic?
The question has come up after a report by Snopes, formerly known as the Urban Legends Reference Pages, claimed that separate Wisconsin court case records have described Rittenhouse’s race differently in each. One record when the teen was pulled over by cops on August 19, 2020, for driving without a valid license and going about 20 mph over the speed limit has called him “Hispanic” while the other filed for the August 25 event listed him as “Caucasian”.
There are some tweets as well on the Internet that mentioned the 18-year-old’s race as “Hispanic”. For instance, @reviewlhu tweeted in February 2021, “Having a gun is what allowed Hispanic Kyle Rittenhouse to defend himself from three white attackers.” And @AUChizad added: “Kyle Rittenhouse is Hispanic and shot three white guys, one of whom was shouting the N word at him earlier that night.”
Having a gun is what allowed hispanic Kyle Rittenhouse to defend himself from three white attackers. https://t.co/jU49s2fTac— Squidopus 🏴 (@reviewlhu) February 1, 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse is Hispanic and shot three white guys, one of whom was shouting the N word at him earlier that night. https://t.co/cg3LPtbLdQ— Cʜɪᴢᴀᴅ ⚜️🥃 (@AUChizad) August 29, 2020
Though the reason behind the race difference in the records is not known and a disclaimer with the database said, “This designation listed in the race field is subjective. It is provided to the court by the agency that filed the case,” Lt. Joseph Nosalik, of the Kenosha Police Department, told Snopes that his agency’s records listed Rittenhouse’s as a “white male.”
Snopes explains that there was no evidence other than the Aug 19 traffic stop record which, carried a disclaimer that law enforcement noted “Hispanic” based on a subjective look at Rittenhouse and was not a self-assessment indicated that the 18-year-old was possibly any race other than Caucasian. For those reasons, Snopes also rated previous claims calling him White “True.”
Reports will show how race dominated Rittenhouse's trial in many ways. In fact, in his closing arguments, defense attorney Mark Richards referenced the Blake shooting.
“Other people in this community have shot people seven times and it’s been found to be OK,” Richards said. “And my client did it four times in three-quarters of a second to protect his life.”