The family of the man who was fatally shot by Kyle Rittenhouse during social unrest last summer in Kenosha, Wis., sued the city on Tuesday, claiming that Kenosha and its local law enforcement departments deputized and conspired with armed individuals.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of John Huber, the father of Anthony Huber, a man who was allegedly shot by Rittenhouse.
The suit specifically names the Kenosha County Sheriff, the former chief of police and acting chief of police for the Kenosha Police Department and John Doe police officers of the Kenosha Police Department and Kenosha County Sheriffs Department, in addition to the city and county of Kenosha.
The complaint alleges that the defendants did not treat Rittenhouse or any of the other armed individuals patrolling the streets as a threat to the safety of themselves or the citizens they were sworn to protect.
Instead, Huber wrote that the defendants deputized these armed individuals, conspired with them, and ratified their actions by letting them patrol the streets, armed with deadly weapons, to mete out justice as they saw fit.
The suit also alleges that the defenders thanked Rittenhouse and other armed individuals for their actions, gave them water and allowed them to openly defy the emergency curfew order that was in place.
Defendants even made plans to funnel the protestors toward the armed individuals deal with them, the suit claims.
As a result of the defendants’ lax action with armed individuals, Rittenhouse opened fire in the street, shooting and killing two men, seriously injuring a third and narrowly missing a fourth the plaintiffs further argued.
Huber alleged that the conduct of the Kenosha Police Department, Kenosha County Sheriffs Department, and its supervisors and police officers, directly caused Anthony Hubers death, later adding that the protections afforded by the defendants served as a license for the armed individuals to wreak havoc and inflict injury.
Anthonys father, John Huber, and his mother, Karen Bloom, now seek justice for death of their son, the suit continues.
Rittenhouse, then 17, allegedly shot and killed Huber, 26, on Aug. 25, 2020 after a foot dash when Huber tried to disarm him with his skateboard. Rittenhouse has since contended that he was acting out of self defense.
Social unrest erupted in the city following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back several times. Blake survived the shooting, but the injuries that he received during the incident rendered him paralyzed.
Rittenhouse is currently facing counts of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree homicide, in addition to other charges for possessing a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18 and reckless endangerment. He is awaiting trial in November.
His bail was set at $2 million in November.
The lawsuit also claims that Rittenhouse received special treatment from the defendants because of his race, contending that if he were Black the law enforcement officials would have acted much different.
If a Black person had approached police with an assault rifle, offering to patrol the streets with the police, he most likely would have been shot dead, Huber alleged.
Anand Swaminathan, an attorney representing Hubers family, told The Washington Post that the presence of armed individuals roaming the streets made the eruption of gun violence perfectly foreseeable.