The parents of one of the men allegedly shot dead by Kyle Rittenhouse in a Wisconsin city last year filed a lawsuit this week against police officials and other authorities, alleging they could have stopped the shooting.
Rittenhouse, then 17, fired on Anthony Huber in August 2020 in Kenosha after Huber rushed toward him while wielding a skateboard, video footage showed. Prosecutors said that the gunshot wound killed Huber.
Rittenhouse also allegedly killed another man who was approaching him and wounded a third.
Rittenhouse, who has said he was in the city to help protect businesses from rioters, and other armed private citizens could have been stopped by law enforcement, Huber’s parents said in the new lawsuit.
“Astonishingly, the Kenosha Police Department, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, and their supervising officials and police officers, 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,” the suit, filed in federal court, stated.
“Instead, 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. In addition, Defendants thanked Rittenhouse and other armed individuals, 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 [to] ‘deal with them,'” it added.
As a result, Rittenhouse opened fire and struck three people, the suit said, before describing Huber as “a hero” for “attempt[ing] to disarm Rittenhouse.”
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, former Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis, acting Police Chief Eric Larsen, the city, and the county were named as defendants, as well as police officers who were not identified.
“The police are supposed to serve and protect but that’s not what the 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 still be alive today,” John Huber, Anthony Huber’s father, said in a statement to news outlets.
An attorney representing the county and Beth said the death wasn’t caused by Kenosha law enforcement.
“While we understand that the family of Anthony Huber is grieving his loss, we must make it clear that the allegations against Sheriff Beth and the Kenosha Sheriff’s Office are demonstrably false,” attorney Sam Hall told news outlets. “The facts will show that Mr. Huber’s death was not caused by any actions or inactions of Kenosha County law enforcement.”
The Kenosha Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Rittenhouse was initially allowed to pass by law enforcement officers following the shootings. He was later arrested and charged with murder. Rittenhouse was not named in the complaint.