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The five-person Kenosha Parks Commission in Kenosha, Wisconsin, tabled a proposal Monday that would have placed a memorial tree and plaque in a city park to honor one of the men Kyle Rittenhouse killed.
Several Kenosha residents showed up at the heated meeting to voice their opposition to the memorial for Anthony Huber, who is seen on video chasing Rittenhouse and swinging a skateboard at him before Rittenhouse shot him in the chest on Aug. 25, 2020.
Huber’s girlfriend Hannah Gittings requested on April 5 that a memorial marker be placed in Huber’s memory at a flowering dogwood in Anderson Park, according to public documents attached to the committee’s agenda reviewed by Fox News Digital.
Anthony Huber, 26, was the second man whom Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot. (gofundme)
The proposal began to gain attention when Kevin Mathewson, a former Kenosha alderman who now works as an investigative journalist, noticed early Monday morning that it had been attached to the commission’s agenda and wrote about it on his website, Kenosha County Eye.
Mathewson, a controversial figure in Kenosha, made headlines in 2020 for having started an organization called the Kenosha Guard, an armed group that said in a Facebook post it intended “to deter rioting/looting.” On the day of the Rittenhouse shootings, Mathewson urged on the group’s Facebook page for Kenoshans to defend their city by taking to the streets with guns, according to The New York Times.
Ald. Eric Haugaard slams his gavel in response to questioning from Kevin Mathewson. ((Photo courtesy Kevin Mathewson))
Mathewson, who attended the commission meeting on Monday, told Fox News Digital that he is concerned that the commission’s move to table the proposal instead of voting it down leaves the door open for them to quietly pass it in the future.
In an exchange that begins roughly 21 minutes into video of the meeting, Mathewson accused the aldermen of violating Wisconsin’s open meetings laws against a “walking quorum” by discussing their decision to table the proposal before the meeting.
Alderman Eric Haugaard, who chairs the commission and said he was in favor of tabling the proposal because of an ongoing lawsuit between Kenosha and Huber’s family, repeatedly slammed his gavel in response to Mathewson and said he was misconstruing what happened.
“I know you don’t want to hear it, and you want to slam the gavel like a lunatic,” Mathewson told Haugaard. “Doesn’t change what you did was wrong.”
Haugaard did not respond to request for comment in time for publication.
“They have all spoken publicly against Kyle Rittenhouse,” Mathewson said of the members of the commission. “They think that he shouldn’t have been out there, and it was terrible that he shot these poor innocent people who are just protesting police brutality.”
Kyle Rittenhouse waits for the judge before the jury is relieved for the day during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)
Describing the commission as “toe-the-line, card-carrying Democrats who want to appeal to their districts,” Mathewson believes the proposal would have passed if members of the community had not shown up to voice their disapproval.
“I think those five members want the tree and the plaque to go up, but they don’t want the ramifications from the voters,” said Mathewson, who explained that by tabling the proposal instead of voting it down, they will be able to attach it to another agenda at the last minute and pass it in the future.
“That’s happened before many times with a variety of things in the city of Kenosha and probably every city around the country,” he said. “It’s just a trick. It’s politicking.”
“It’s unprecedented what happened to our city a couple of summers ago,” Mathewson said. “And to memorialize a man who lived a life of violence and crime, and who was one of the ones contributing to the rioting and looting is just unfathomable.”
“It was offensive to the city of Kenosha taxpayers even to consider it, in my opinion,” he added.