Kyle Rittenhouse, county officials sued by Joseph Rosenbaum’s estate

Posted at 4:20 PM, August 28, 2023 and last updated 1:25 AM, August 29, 2023


MILWAUKEE (Court TV) — Three years after Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two men and injured a third during violent protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the estate of one of the men he shot and killed has filed a lawsuit against Rittenhouse and law enforcement officials.

Kyle Rittenhouse looks over his shoulder in court

FILE- Kyle Rittenhouse looks back as attorneys discuss items in the motion for mistrial presented by his defense at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool_File)

Rittenhouse, who had argued self-defense in the shooting, was acquitted of all charges, including homicide and attempted homicide, in Nov. 2021.

The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 25 on behalf of the estate of shooting victim Joseph Rosenbaum’s estate, names a number of plaintiffs alongside Rittenhouse, including Kenosha and Waukesha Counties, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, the Kenosha Police Department, the heads of the respective departments and others.

The 15-count lawsuit includes conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights, conspiracy to obstruct justice based on discrimination, deprivation of due process, failure to intervene, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and wrongful death.

Court TV’s Trial Archives: WI v. Kyle Rittenhouse (2021)

Rittenhouse was armed with an AR-15 style .223 rifle with a magazine holding 30 rounds of ammunition, which the lawsuit described as “developed in the late 1950s as a weapon of war.”

While Rittenhouse pulled the trigger, the lawsuit alleges that law enforcement was not only complicit with Rittenhouse’s actions, but also encouraging.

“The law enforcement Defendants allowed Defendant Rittenhouse to patrol the streets of downtown Kenosha with his deadly assault rifle, they invited them in, deputized him, conspired with him, and ratified his actions.”

According to the lawsuit, the counter-protest Rittenhouse was part of had been advertised on Facebook by a man who described himself as the “Commander of the Kenosha Guard,” who sent an email to the chief of the Kenosha Police Department, also posted online, that read: “Chief Miskinis: As you know, I am the Commander of the Kenosha Guard, a local militia. We are mobilizing tonight and have about 3,000 RSVPs. We have volunteers that will be in Uptown, downtown, and at the entrances to other neighborhoods.”

The lawsuit alleges that the police “did not disarm him. They did not limit his movement in any way. They did not question him. They did not stop him from shooting individuals after he started. They did not arrest him, detain him, or question him even after he had killed two people.”

While Rittenhouse was found not guilty by a jury, following the high-profile trial, attorneys for the plaintiff pointed out, “Defendant Rittenhouse’s own lawyers have blamed the shootings on the Law Enforcement Defendants, highlighting their ‘abject failure to ensure basic law and order to citizens.'”

In February, a judge ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Rittenhouse and police officers by the father of Anthony Huber, the other man Rittenhouse shot and killed, can move forward.

Anthony Huber was shot and killed while trying to disarm Rittenhouse after Rosenbaum was killed.