Last Updated on February 17, 2022
One of the lead detectives in the Kyle Rittenhouse case has close family ties with the mayor of Kenosha and other Democrat politicians. Detective Benjamin Antaramian is the nephew of Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, who was re-elected to another four-year term in 2020. Antaramian, a Democrat, first served as mayor from 1992-2008 and was again elected in 2020.
Through his family relationship with Mayor Antaramian, Detective Benjamin Antaramian, has several other family members serving in government positions: The mayor’s cousin is the Kenosha City Attorney, Ed Antaramian (D); his nephew is the Kenosha City Judge Michael Easton (D); his other nephew is Thaddeus “Tip” McGuire (D), State Representative; and his other cousin is Laura Belsky (D), County Board Supervisor.
Benjamin Antaramian conducted several interviews with persons of interest and witnesses immediately following the August 2020 Kenosha shootings.
Antaramian is the detective who opted not to record Kenosha PD’s interview with armed rioter Gaige Grosskreutz, the only witness or person of interest where this was done. Kenosha police also opted not to execute a search warrant they had obtained in order to seize Grosskreutz’s phone.
Several other witnesses and persons of interest had their phones downloaded, but Grosskreutz was again given a notable exception. According to testimony from Kenosha Detective Martin Howard, the warrant was not served due to “Marsy’s Law” concerns, which is a law that grants crime victims certain privacy privileges, among other things.
Howard testified that this was the first and only time Mary’s Law was invoked in order to stop the serving of a warrant during his entire history with the Kenosha police. Howard, who was assigned to the high-profile case despite having been a detective for just 15 months at the time, testified that Marsy’s Law was invoked by the lead prosecutor in the Rittenhouse case, Assistant DA Thomas Binger.
Detective Antaramian tried to link Kyle Rittenhouse to the “Kenosha Guard” group, a loose collection of Kenosha citizens who organized to defend businesses during the riots. Antaramian reportedly grilled Rittenhouse’s associate Dominick Black in an effort to connect the two but was unable to do so.
Nevertheless, Rittenhouse’s non-existent affiliation with the group was cited in front of the U.S. Senate in testimony from Mark Zuckerberg regarding extremism on social media. Detective Antaramian has been present at the Rittenhouse trial and has demonstrated weapons and evidence, though he has yet to testify.