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A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Feb. 2, 2023 that a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Kyle Rittenhouse and Kenosha police and sheriff’s officials can proceed.

Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and wounded another amid protests against police violence in Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020.

Rittenhouse said he acted in self-defense, and was acquitted of all charges.

The federal judge held that the death of Anthony Huber, one of the men killed by Rittenhouse, “could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the government defendants.” 

The lawsuit, filed by Huber’s father, alleges that officers “deputized” Rittenhouse and other armed people, and “conspired with them (…) to mete out justice as they saw fit.”

Rittenhouse’s lawyers argued for the lawsuit to be dismissed, saying it “fails to plausibly allege” there was an agreement between Rittenhouse and officers.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


AP News: Lawsuit can proceed against Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access: State v. Rittenhouse

United States District Court | Eastern District of Wisconsin Milwaukee Division: John Huber amended complaint

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.