Online Dictionary Expertly Trolls Kyle Rittenhouse After His Tear-Filled Testimony—and People Are Here for It
Last year, then-17 year old Kyle Rittenhouse rode from Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin—the site of unrest in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-15, began the night by guarding a vehicle dealership with other vigilantes, but later left the premises. As Rittenhouse was being chased by an unarmed Joseph Rosenbaum, he turned around and shot Rosenbaum four times in the chest, killing him.
After making a brief call to a friend, Rittenhouse attempted to leave the scene but was being pursued by protesters seeking to detain him. That's when he shot Anthony Huber, killing him, and Gage Grosskreutz, who was armed with a handgun, injuring him.
After nationwide outcry, Rittenhouse was charged with multiple counts, including murder charges for the deaths of Rosenbaum and Huber.
Rittenhouse claims he was acting in self defense and his actions have been scrutinized by the nation, with critics asking why he felt the need to drive across state lines in order to monitor civil unrest in the first place.
On Wednesday, Rittenhouse testified in his own trial. He broke down in tears during the testimony as he described the events of that night.
Kyle Rittenhouse broke down in tears at his murder trial while on the witness stand as he described the events of Aug. 25, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.pic.twitter.com/bFoip1xmSg— USA TODAY (@USA TODAY) 1636573500
The moment saw its fair share of skeptics, especially with people noting Rittenhouse's actions in the time since the shooting. Just hours after a court hearing earlier this year, Rittenhouse was spotted at Pudgy's pub, where he took photos with admirers reportedly tied to the Proud Boys militia.
Rittenhouse flashed a white power symbol while smiling and wearing a tee shirt that said "Free as F**k."
Kyle Rittenhouse is guilty AF\u2026drinking in a bar with the Proud Boys with a shirt that says Free as Fk on it, flashing a white power sign with his right hand.pic.twitter.com/ltsvPvhFet— Rex Zane (@Rex Zane) 1636593819
People also noticed the absence of any actual tears during Rittenhouse's breakdown.
Soon, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary—which has gone viral in recent years for tweeting definitions relevant to current events—appeared to weigh in by sharing the definition of "crocodile tears."
The term 'crocodile tears' (a superficial display of anguish) comes from a medieval belief that crocodiles shed tears of sadness when killing their prey.https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/words-of-deception/crocodile-tears\u00a0\u2026— Merriam-Webster (@Merriam-Webster) 1636572600
Twitter users couldn't help but cackle at the shade
Dictionary just decided to tweet this after that man who shot 3 and killed 2 in Kenosha did some crocodiling lolhttps://twitter.com/MerriamWebster/status/1458517316077973507\u00a0\u2026— Dr. Openly Excessively Black & Disabled (She/Her) (@Dr. Openly Excessively Black & Disabled (She/Her)) 1636592872
Omg savagehttps://twitter.com/MerriamWebster/status/1458517316077973507\u00a0\u2026— Brett Meiselas (@Brett Meiselas) 1636600199
There\u2019s no shade like dictionary shade.https://twitter.com/MerriamWebster/status/1458517316077973507\u00a0\u2026— Charles Johnson (@Charles Johnson) 1636583158
Merriam-Webster continues to have an A+ subtweet presencehttps://twitter.com/merriamwebster/status/1458517316077973507\u00a0\u2026— dr rachel jurinich mattson (@dr rachel jurinich mattson) 1636630573
i do appreciate how y'all go straight at folks' necks.https://twitter.com/MerriamWebster/status/1458517316077973507\u00a0\u2026— bobbie lee swagger (@bobbie lee swagger) 1636632771
Merriam-Webster wasn't the only account to question the validity of Rittenhouse's tears.
Proof that \u201cgood\u201d acting is hard. pic.twitter.com/UrPft7PLO1— MoneybaggHo (@MoneybaggHo) 1636564125
this is some of the worst acting i\u2019ve ever seen. the look over to the side\u2026 i can\u2019t.https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1458470454713257991\u00a0\u2026— Marlow Stern (@Marlow Stern) 1636561631
Are you serious?https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1458470454713257991\u00a0\u2026— Keith Boykin (@Keith Boykin) 1636563183
Kyle Rittenhouse coming for Best Leading Actor in a Dramapic.twitter.com/9gnbpPrRzU— chris evans (@chris evans) 1636562644
The Rittenhouse trial is expected to conclude next week, though his attorneys have requested a mistrial.