Closing arguments at Kyle Rittenhouse‘s murder trial began on Monday with the prosecution questioning whether Rittenhouse was really there to help the night he showed up in Kenosha with a rifle during a protest against racial injustice.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger told the jury that Rittenhouse had no ties to the company he claimed to be protecting, that he carried an AR-style semi-automatic gun, and that he lied about being an EMT.

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“Does that suggest to you that he genuinely is there to help?” Binger asked, according to Associated Press inputs.

Binger repeatedly presented a section of drone video in which Rittenhouse is seen aiming a gun towards demonstrators after laying down a fire extinguisher. “This is the provocation. This is what starts this incident,” he added.

In a case that has sparked intense discussion in the United States about guns, vigilantism, racial injustice, and law and order, Rittenhouse, then 18, murdered two men and injured a third during a chaotic night of protests in the summer of 2020.

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Prosecutors have attempted to depict Rittenhouse as the aggressor who, with his semi-automatic weapon, created a hazardous scenario in the first place that night, while Rittenhouse has stated that he feared for his life and acted in self-defence.

If convicted on the most serious charge against him, first-degree intentional homicide, the young man from Antioch, Illinois, faces a mandatory life sentence.

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On August 25, 2020, Rittenhouse, 17 then, drove a few miles from his home to Kenosha, which was in the midst of violent riots after a white police officer shot and wounded Jacob Blake, a Black man. According to Rittenhouse, he went there to safeguard property.

Supporters have lauded him as a hero who stood up to lawlessness, while opponents have labelled him a vigilante.

With inputs from the Associated Press