The work of two Hispanic conservative journalists undoubtedly played a pivotal role in the homicide trial of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who was acquitted on Friday of all charges related to the death of two people in Kenosha last year.
Footage captured by reporters Julio Rosas and Drew Hernandez on the night of the Black Lives Matter riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was repeatedly examined by both the defense and prosecution. The work of both individuals may well have determined the eventual verdict.
Rittenhouse was charged by prosecutors over the death of 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum, of Kenosha, and 26-year-old Anthony Huber, of Silver Lake. Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, a protester from West Allis, was also wounded by Rittenhouse, who in all three cases was found to be acting in self-defense.
Hernandez last week volunteered to testify at the trial, where he was cross-examined by Kenosha Deputy District Attorney Binger about what he witnessed that night as well as his credibility as a witness.
During his testimony, Hernandez described his work as an on-the-ground reporter on the night of the riots, saying he witnessed Rittenhouse trying to de-escalate the situation and did not believe he was an active aggressor.
“Antifa had their shields out, throwing rocks at officers, even trying to get inside the hood of one of the police vehicles,” Hernandez told the jury.
Binger also asked Hernandez about his work for the conservative media outlet Real America’s Voice, claiming his political affiliations impacted his ability to serve as an impartial witness. Such line of questioning was eventually shut down by Judge Schroeder, who pointed out that this was “not a political trial.”
Although he was not called to testify, video footage captured by Townhall writer Julio Rosas was also repeatedly cited throughout the trial and also gave statements to the police describing what he saw on that fateful night.
“Two people jumped onto him and there was a struggle for control of his rifle,” Rosas said of the shooting. “At that point during the struggle, he just began to fire multiple rounds, and that dispersed people near him. The rifle was being jerked around in all directions while it was being fired.”
In an interview with El American, Rosas said that the video evidence he provided validated the acquittal as it proved that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.
“It has been clear from the start if you look at the video evidence that was taken that night it shows Kyle Rittenhouse only shooting people who were actively attacking him,” he explained. “Calling him an active shooter does not make sense because there was plenty of opportunities for him to start mowing down people but that is not what happened as the video shows. The verdict validates all these facts.”
Another journalist called to the stand was the Daily Caller’s chief video director Richard McGinniss, who testified on the issue of whether Joseph Rosenbaum posed an active threat to Rittenhouse.
After days of deliberations, Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges, bringing an end to one of the most politically charged trials in recent decades. President Joe Biden, who previously smeared Rittenhouse as a white supremacist, said that he was left “angry and concerned” by the verdict, but also urged people to accept the jury’s decision.
“While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,” he wrote. “I ran on a promise to bring Americans together because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us.”
Julio Rosas’s book, Fiery But Mostly Peaceful: The 2020 Riots and the Gaslighting of America, is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.