The family of Anthony Huber, a protestor who Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot during Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, have filed a lawsuit against the city.
The suit, filed in Milwaukee on Tuesday, accuses the city and its local police and county sheriff’s departments of openly conspiring with nationalist groups and giving them “license … to wreak havoc and inflict injury,” Washington Post reports.
Lawyers in the federal lawsuit claim the police gave Rittenhouse and other armed anti-protestors preferential treatment because of their race. If Rittenhouse were Black, the “defendants would have acted much differently,” the lawsuit states.
Rittenhouse is awaiting trial on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide in the killing of Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum on Aug. 25, 2020. Huber and Rosenbaum were among the many protesting against the police shooting of Jacob Blake amid heightened racial tension nationwide.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the attack, is also charged with attempted first-degree homicide for shooting and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz. He also faces charges for possession of a dangerous weapon while under 18 and reckless endangerment.
Anand Swaminathan, a Chicago-based attorney for Huber’s family, said the police created the chaos that resulted in two vicious murders by selectively enforcing an 8 p.m. curfew on the protestors and not the gunmen. The gunmen told the media and the police that they were there to protect the businesses and police. Video evidence showed that police and the gunmen were sympathetic toward each other.
“There was no reason to take [the protesters] in that park and disperse them into the street,” Swaminathan said. The police “especially shouldn’t have done so because they were well aware, based on Facebook posts and internal communication among officers, that there were all these armed people outside of the park just waiting for them.”
After committing the murders and being arrested, Rittenhouse posted a $2 million bond, raised primarily by far-right groups. The teen is residing in an undisclosed location with his family while the Huber family fights for justice.
During a court hearing in November, John Huber explained why Rittenhouse was a flight risk because he “thinks he’s above the law and he’s been treated as such by law enforcement.”
“He was an active shooter and he tried to flee. And my son lost his life trying to prevent him from escaping. My son is a hero,” Huber said.