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The lone surviving victim of a deadly August 2020 shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is suing the city and its leaders, claiming police conspired with vigilantes.
Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, was volunteering as a medic for the Black Lives Matter movement when Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, shot him in the arm during the second night of civil unrest in Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020, following the police shooting of a 29-year-old Black man, Jacob Blake.
The complaint opens with a quote from Kenosha police saying, “We appreciate you guys — we really do,” to a group of armed civilians who claimed to be protecting businesses during the riots, including Rittenhouse, over a loudspeaker in video footage captured on Aug. 25.
Kyle Rittenhouse holding a firearm during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States on August 25, 2020. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Now, Grosskreutz is suing the city of Kenosha, Kenosha County, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, retired Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis and interim Chief of Police for the Kenosha Police Department Eric Larsen, as well as other Kenosha officers, according to the complaint filed in a Wisconsin federal court.
“Defendants did nothing to stop Rittenhouse’s illegal conduct. They did not arrest him for illegally carrying a gun. They did not disarm him,” the lawsuit reads. “…Instead, Defendants deputized Rittenhouse and other armed individuals, conspired with them, and ratified their actions by allowing them to patrol the streets with deadly weapons and shoot and kill innocent victims.”
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office and Kenoshoa Police Department did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News.
Grosskreutz was one of three victims Rittenhouse shot on Aug. 25. The other two victims, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, died of their injuries. The 27-year-old was armed when he approached Rittenhouse, according to CNN.
Anthony Huber is seen with a skateboard during a confrontation with Kyle Rittenhouse.
(UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSN MILWAUKEE DIVISION)
Rittenhouse was 17 when he traveled from his home in Antioch, Illinois, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) to Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020, in response to a call on social media to protect businesses there. He later turned himself in after opening fire on protesters.
The perpetrator and his legal team have argued self-defense, maintaining that he only fired his rifle after being attacked from behind. Prosecutors say they have infrared video from an FBI surveillance plane that shows Rittenhouse followed and confronted the first man he shot.
“Rittenhouse and others were subject to a different set of rules and were allowed to move about freely in areas controlled by Defendants,” Grosskreutz’s lawsuit states.
Kyle Rittenhouse accused of shooting three people during a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin last year, waits for the start of his motion hearing, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Kenosha, Wis.
((Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP))
The complaint claims that Grosskreutz’s injuries “were caused by the actions and decisions of Defendants Beth and Miskinis; and the City of Kenosha and the County of Kenosha.” It also claims Grozzkreutz may have died as a result of his wounds if he had not had his own tourniquet at the time he was shot.
Rittenhouse is set to stand trial beginning Nov. 1 on multiple counts, including homicide.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano, David Aaro, Michael Ruiz and Emma Colton contributed to this report.
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