The lawsuit accuses Kenosha law enforcement officials of conspiring with White militias and failing to protecting Black Lives Matter protesters’ lives.
The family of a protester shot dead by Kyle Rittenhouse has filed a lawsuit against the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, as well as its police department.
Reuters reports that the lawsuit, filed in federal court, was brought by relatives of the late Anthony Huber.
Huber, recounts Reuters, was one of two people killed by Rittenhouse, who was then only 17 years old. Huber was shot after he attempted to disarm Rittenhouse with a skateboard.
While Rittenhouse was widely hailed as a hero by conservatives and gun rights advocates, others suggested that Rittenhouse intentionally antagonized Black Lives Matter protesters and needlessly escalated a curbside confrontation into a fatal encounter.
Rittenhouse, an Illinois native, has since been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, for both the killings of Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum. He was also charged with several firearms violations.
The lawsuit names as defendants the city of Kenosha, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, former Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis, acting Kenosha Police Chief Eric Larsen, and a number of “John Doe” police officers and sheriff’s deputies.
Huber’s family alleges that Kenosha law enforcement conspired with White militia members, signaling tacit approval to antagonize Black Lives Matter protesters.
“Defendants’ open support of and coordination with the armed individuals in the minutes and hours before the shootings deprived Anthony Huber and other protesters of the basic protections typically provided by police,” the complaint states. “It was a license for the armed individuals to wreak havoc and inflict injury.”
“If Kyle Rittenhouse were Black, Defendants would have acted much differently,” it added.
“Many of the armed individuals with whom the Defendant departments had allied themselves were avowed racists,” the lawsuit says.
The defendants, in effect, “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.”
Anthony’s father, John Huber, said that Kenosha law enforcement failed to adhere to their profession’s most basic values.
“The police are supposed to protect and serve,” Huber said in a statement. “But that’s not what Kenosha police did. They walked away from their duties and turned over the streets of Kenosha to Kyle Rittenhouse and other armed vigilantes. If they had done their job, my son would be alive today.”
Anthony Huber’s mother, Karen Bloom, said the lawsuit seeks justice for her son.
“After Anthony’s death, there will always be a hole in my heart,” Bloom said. “But his memory lives on, and I will never stop telling his story.”