A protester who survived after pointing a gun and being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse during the 2020 Kenosha civil unrest has filed a lawsuit against the former Antioch resident.
Attorneys for Gaige Grosskreutz initially filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in October 2021.
The suit named the defendants in the lawsuit as the City of Kenosha, Kenosha County, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, former Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis, acting Kenosha Police Chief Eric Larson and officers of the Kenosha Police Department.
The lawsuit claimed that Kenosha law enforcement officers and “white nationalist militia persons” discussed and coordinated strategy.
“It was not a mistake that Kyle Rittenhouse would kill two people and maim a third on that evening,” Grosskreutz’s attorneys said.
His attorneys added that it was “a natural consequence of the actions” of the Kenosha Police Department and Kenosha County Sherriff’s office in “deputizing a roving militia to ‘protect property’ and ‘assist in maintaining order.'”
Earlier this month, Grosskreutz’s lawsuit was amended to include Rittenhouse as one of the defendants. It also added multiple Wisconsin cities as defendants.
Grosskreutz was one of three people that Kyle Rittenhouse, then 18 and an Antioch resident, shot during the August 2020 protests, which were sparked after a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake multiple times.
The two other people shot by Rittenhouse were Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum. Both died from their injuries.
In the initial lawsuit, Grosskreutz’s attorneys called Huber “a hero” who approached Rittenhouse to “disarm him, stop the shooting and save the lives of others” when Rittenhouse shot him in the chest.
Attorneys claim Rittenhouse then shot Grosskreutz after the man approached Rittenhouse “with his hands in the air to try to ease the situation and stop the killing.”
During Rittenhouse’s trial, Grosskreutz admitted that he pointed his gun at Rittenhouse before the teen shot him.
“You’d agree your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse, correct?” defense attorney Corey Chirafisi asked, referring to a photo. “Yes,” Grosskreutz answered.
“When you were standing three to five feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired, right?” Chirafisi asked. “Correct,” Grosskreutz answered.
“It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun, now your hands down pointed at him, that he fired, right?” Chirafisi asked. “Correct,” Grosskreutz replied.
The lawsuit says the defendants’ conduct “directly caused” Grosskreutz’s injury.
“The Law Enforcement Defendants did nothing to stop Defendant Rittenhouse’s illegal conduct. They did not arrest him for illegally carrying a gun. They 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,” the lawsuit said.
“Instead, the Law Enforcement Defendants deputized Defendant Rittenhouse and other armed individuals, conspired with them, and ratified their actions by allowing them to patrol the streets armed illegally with deadly weapons and shoot and kill innocent citizens,” the lawsuit added.
The 42-page complaint demands a jury trial and asks the court to award Grosskreutz “all appropriate relief at law” and compensatory and punitive damages.
On Twitter, Rittenhouse said last week that the lawsuit against him “is an attempt to drown anyone who legally and justifiably defends there lives from attackers in a mountain of legal debt.”
“We can not let them win. If they can come after me they will come after you,” Rittenhouse said.