Memorial plan for Kyle Rittenhouse's victim Anthony Huber dropped amid public backlash
The Kenosha Parks Commission sparked outrage during a public meeting Monday night, April 25, after one resident accused the agency of surreptitiously trying to approve a proposal to memorialize one of the two men shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse in 2020.
The proposal was eventually tabled after several residents showed up at the meeting opposing the plan for a memorial tree and plaque commemorating Anthony Huber at Anderson Park. On August 25, 2020, Huber was caught on camera chasing Rittenhouse and attempting to hit him with a skateboard before the latter fatally shot him in the chest during the city-wide protests about police brutality. According to the Park Commission's agenda, the proposal came earlier this month from Huber's girlfriend Hannah Gittings. But it went unnoticed until former Kenosha alderman Kevin Mathewson, who is currently an investigative journalist, published an article about the proposal on his website.
Mathewson had a heated exchange with the Commission members at Monday's meeting. He accused them of breaking the law, causing Alderman Eric Haugaard to repeatedly slam his gavel. “I know you don’t want to hear it, and you want to slam the gavel like a lunatic,” Mathewson told Haugaard. “Doesn’t change what you did was wrong.”
Speaking to Fox News, Mathewson said he believes the Park Commission would have quietly approved the proposal if the public hadn't pushed back. “They have all spoken publicly against Kyle Rittenhouse,” Mathewson said of the commission members. “They think that he shouldn’t have been out there, and it was terrible that he shot these poor innocent people who are just protesting police brutality. I think those five members want the tree and the plaque to go up, but they don’t want the ramifications from the voters,” he added.
In 2020, Matthewson garnered national attention after starting an organization called the Kenosha Guard, an armed group that aimed to "deter rioting/looting" in the city. Matthewson urged its members to defend the city by taking to the streets with guns on the day Rittenhouse shot three people, the New York Times reported.
In November last year, Gittings told the New York Post that she didn't believe Rittenhouse was solely out to protect businesses the night he fatally shot her boyfriend. “If these people had just done what they said they were going to be doing, standing outside of the property making sure nobody was ruining these buildings and businesses, whatever, that’s cool, but you weren’t,” she told the newspaper. “This kid was walking around like hot s–t, looking for a reason to say, ‘Oh, I gotta do something about this,’” she said.
Gittings, 25, said Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, was probably caught up in the band of vigilantes guarding the city. “I do have a lot of sympathy for this kid because he is just a kid to me so it was just like a really dumbass kid who unfortunately became the figurehead for this,” she said. The grieving girlfriend added that Rittenhouse was not the only one to blame for Huber's death and that the city of Kenosha also bears responsibility.
“Kenosha also needs to be held responsible for allowing this militia to show up and do exactly what they came here to do,” Gittings insisted. “They gotta put some heat on this kid because if they let him completely off the hook, then they have to totally take responsibility for allowing what happened to happen," she said of Rittenhouse at the time.