Lawsuit over Kenosha shootings: Police enabled armed militia

FILE- In this Aug. 25, 2020 file photo, Gaige Grosskreutz, top, tends to an injured protester during clashes with police outside the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis. Grosskreutz who was shot in the arm by Kyle Rittenhouse during street protests in Kenosha last year has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses police of enabling the violence by allowing armed militia to roam freely during the demonstration.
FILE- In this Aug. 25, 2020 file photo, Gaige Grosskreutz, top, tends to an injured protester during clashes with police outside the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis. Grosskreutz who was shot in the arm by Kyle Rittenhouse during street protests in Kenosha last year has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses police of enabling the violence by allowing armed militia to roam freely during the demonstration. Photo credit AP Photo/David Goldman, File

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A man who was shot in the arm by Kyle Rittenhouse during a protest last year against police brutality in Wisconsin has filed a federal lawsuit alleging police enabled the violence by allowing an armed militia to have free run of the streets during the demonstration.

Rittenhouse shot Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz with an AR-style semi automatic rifle during the protest in Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020, after an officer shot Jacob Blake two days earlier. Rosenbaum and Huber died. Grosskreutz was wounded in the arm but survived.

Prosecutors have charged Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, with multiple counts, including homicide. He has argued he fired in self-defense after Rosenbaum and Huber attacked him and Grosskreutz ran up to him armed with a handgun. Rittenhouse's trial is slated to begin next month.

Grosskreutz's lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that Rittenhouse, who lives in Antioch, Illinois, had joined white supremacist militia members who had answered a call on social media to travel to Kenosha and protect businesses during the protest. Rittenhouse and Grosskreutz are white; so were Rosenbaum and Huber.

The filing maintains police knew the militia was there to hurt people, pointing to social media responses such as “Counter protest? Nah. I fully plan to kill looters and rioters tonight" and “Armed and ready. Shoot to kill tonight.” The identities of the posters weren’t given in the lawsuit.

Regardless, police welcomed them, allowing them to patrol the streets with their guns after curfew. One officer told the militia “we appreciate you guys,” according to the lawsuit. Police later funneled protestors toward the militia, telling members they could take care of them, the lawsuit alleges.

Numerous officers saw Rittenhouse before and after the shootings but never asked him for identific