Kenosha police officer explains why he didn't arrest Kyle Rittenhouse when he tried to surrender after the shootings

Pep Moretti, Kenosha Police Officer, testifies in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial at Kenosha County Courthouse, Kenosha, Wis. on Friday, November 5, 2021. Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via Associated Press
Kyle Rittenhouse tried to surrender to officers in a viral video, but they ignored him.

Friday's testimony by one of the officers revealed that he heard gunfire and believed an active shooter was still at large.

Officer Pep Moretti claimed that he finally pulled his gun on Rittenhouse while his partner pepper-sprayed Rittenhouse.

Kenosha officer, who saw Kyle Rittenhouse just moments after he shot three people, testified Friday that he did not arrest him. Rittenhouse had approached police officers with his arms in the air and his AR-15 rifle across his body.

On the fourth day Rittenhouse's murder trial, Officer Pep Moretti testified. The teenager pleaded not guilty in the shooting deaths of two men and the injury to another. Defense attorneys for Rittenhouse claim that Rittenhouse shot the two men in self defense after they chased him.

A viral video of Rittenhouse confronting officers last fall showed him walking up to them, shouting at them to move. Rittenhouse then drove away in the immediate aftermath. Critics of police used the video to show that Rittenhouse, a white suspect in homicide, can be evaded by officers. Black suspects are treated more lightly and in less severe situations.

Moretti, however, disputed this narrative on Friday. Moretti explained to the court that he and his partner didn't suspect Rittenhouse was the shooter. He said they could still hear active gunfire when Rittenhouse approached.

Moretti stated that "there was still gunfire erupting about us while we were still on Sheridan so we still believed there was an active threat." Moretti testified that he had set out to find the gunfire's source with his partner.

Kyle Rittenhouse is seated before the commencement of his trial at Kenosha County Courthouse, Kenosha (Wis.), Friday, November 5, 2021. Mark Hertzberg/Pool via Associated Press

Moretti said that Rittenhouse's AR-15 rifle wasn't an alarming sight, considering the circumstances of the night. Moretti stated that most of the people he encountered on that night were also armed with guns, bats or other weapons.

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Moretti stated that "we were surrounded all night and all week." "There were probably more people with guns than there were without."

Moretti said Rittenhouse had not shown the typical signs of surrender. Moretti stated that surrendering people will typically bow to orders and fall to their knees. Moretti stated that Rittenhouse continued to approach their vehicle ignoring their commands.

Moretti stated that he was giving instructions to Moretti to get out the road and to essentially get out our way to reach the location where he believed the problem was.

He also dismissed the idea that Rittenhouse and his fellow officers had been gentle with Rittenhouse when he disobeyed orders.

Moretti testified that Rittenhouse approached Rittenhouse's passenger-side window of the patrol car. Moretti pulled his gun on Rittenhouse, and Moretti’s passenger seat partner pepper-sprayed Rittenhouse.

He claimed that he wasn't sure if Rittenhouse was actually hit by the spray, but it had "the desired effect." Rittenhouse then abandoned the vehicle and continued northbound.

Insider has the original article.