Injured Kenosha protest shooting survivor suing city, law enforcement officers

Injured Kenosha protest shooting survivor suing city, law enforcement officers
© Grosskreutz GoFundMe

The lone survivor of Kyle Rittenhose's shooting at an anti-police brutality protest in Kenosha, Wisc. last year has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Kenosha, Kenosha County and Kenosha police, as reported by CNN

Gaige Grosskreutz, the survivor of the shooting, is alleging that police enabled the violence by allowing an armed militia to have free reign of the city's streets during the protest, according to ABC News

"It was not a mistake that Kyle Rittenhouse would kill two people and maim a third on that evening. It was a natural consequence of the actions of the Kenosha Police Department (KPD) and Kenosha Sherriff's Department (KCSD) in deputizing a roving militia to 'protect property' and 'assist in maintaining order'," the lawsuit states.

Rittenhouse shot three people with an AR-style semiautomatic rifle during protests in August 2020 after Officer Shekey shot Jacob Blake days earlier. Two of the victims died, and Grosskreutz was wounded in the arm and was the only survivor. 

AP has reported that Grosskreutz has said "I play it back in my head, I think about it all the time." 

Additionally, according to CNN, Grosskreutz had said that he was disturbed by video of the Blake shooting in 2020, so he made the 40-mile trip from his home in Milwaukee to Kenosha in order to attend the protests. He also brought medical supplies in case he needed to provide medical attention, as he had worked as a paramedic. Grosskreutz took his licensed gun with him because he was concerned after seeing calls to arms on Facebook in a group called "the Kenosha Guard". 

Rittenhouse — who was 17 at the time of the incident — is being charged with multiple counts, the most serious including homicide; however, he is arguing that he fired his gun in self-defense after being attacked by the deceased and that Grosskreutz ran up to him with a handgun, as stated by WISN

Grosskreutz is not the first to press charges against the City of Kenosha. The family of another victim, John Huber, who was killed by Rittenhouse, also sued the city in August

In their lawsuit, Anthony Huber — the victim's father — claimed that Kenosha and its law enforcement departments "deputized" and "conspired" with armed individuals. The Huber lawsuit specifically names Kenosha County sheriff, the former chief of police and acting chief of police of the Kenosha Police Department, and "John Doe police officers" throughout the city, and includes the city itself as well as Kenosha County. 

The Hill reached out to the City of Kenosha, which declined to comment on the active litigation. The Hill also reached out to the county, Rittenhouse's attorney but did not immediately hear back.

Sam Hall, who is representing Kenosha County and its sheriff, said in a statement that he plans to file a motion to dismiss the case.

"The allegations against Sheriff Beth and the Kenosha Sheriff’s Office are false. The lawsuit also fails to acknowledge that Mr. Grosskreutz was himself armed with a firearm when he was shot and Mr. Grosskreutz failed to file this lawsuit against the person who actually shot him," he said.