17-Year-Old Accused Of Killing 2 People At Jacob Blake Protest Was Front Row At A January Trump Rally
After firing multiple shots, Kyle Rittenhouse walks past multiple police officers and police vans despite people yelling that he'd just shot people.
August 26, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Update (August 27, 2020): More information is coming out about 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse who was charged with first-degree murder after he was seen on video shooting multiple people during a protest over Jacob Blake.
Buzzfeed reported on Wednesday that Rittenhouse was in the front row of a Des Moines, Iowa, rally for President Donald Trump in January. Rittenhouse posted a video of himself at the January 30 event on his Tik Tok page, which has now been deleted.
“President Trump has repeatedly and consistently condemned all forms of violence and believes we must protect all Americans from chaos and lawlessness. This individual had nothing to do with our campaign and we fully support our fantastic law enforcement for their swift action in this case,” a spokesperson for the Trump 2020 campaign told BuzzFeed.
Reporters have now scoured through the 17-year-old’s social media pages, finding that he was obsessed with police and guns. He also had spent time embedded with a local fire department program in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois.
Grayslake Police Department told BuzzFeed that Rittenhouse was also a part of the Public Safety Cadet Program within the Lindenhurst, Grayslake, Hainesville Police Department.
The Facebook page for the Public Safety Cadet Program was deleted after photos of a person identified as “Kyle” began circulating online.
There has been widespread outrage since videos leaked online showing police officers speaking with Rittenhouse, handing him water and seemingly coordinating with his group before he allegedly killed two people and shot others. The New York Times has confirmed the authenticity of the videos showing police working with Rittenhouse before the shootings.
The Daily Kos identified as 26-year-old Anthony Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum as the shooting victims. Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, was shot as well but he is expected to survive.
Despite the deaths of Huber and Rosenbaum, Republicans and conservative media outlets spent Wednesday evening praising Rittenhouse for his actions.
A conservative news outlet interviewed Rittenhouse before he began shooting and on Tucker Carlson’s Wednesday night show, he said “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
Commentator Ann Coulter tweeted that she wants him “as my president.”
Original (August 26, 2020): Police in Illinois have arrested a 17-year-old accused of shooting and killing two people during a Tuesday night protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin for Jacob Blake, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The small Wisconsin town has been beset by protests since Sunday, when the 29-year-old Blake was shot in the back seven times in front of his children. He survived the shooting but his family has said he is paralyzed as Blavity previously reported.
During the relatively peaceful protests on Tuesday, heavily-armed counter protesters showed up purporting to "defend" businesses.
But the situation quickly deteriorated when Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly opened fire during the protests, hitting three people and killing two.
In harrowing video taken at the scene, protesters began chasing Rittenhouse after he allegedly shot someone. He slips and falls and begins shooting randomly into the crowd. After firing multiple shots, he walks past multiple police officers and police vans despite people yelling that he'd just shot people.
The newspaper said that while the victims have not been identified, police reported one was shot in the head and the other was shot in the chest. Another is currently in the hospital with serious injuries. It's not yet known what their races were.
The Verge reported that Facebook took down a group page called "the Kenosha Guard" that had thousands of members and called itself a "militia." The group allegedly has ties to InfoWars and other white supremacist sites. In a recent post, the group called on members to go to Kenosha and fight protesters.
“Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city tonight from the evil thugs? No doubt they are currently planning on the next part of the city to burn tonight,” the post on Tuesday allegedly said.
"I ask that you do NOT have your officers tell us to go home under threat of arrest as you have done in the past. We are willing to talk to KPD and open a discussion. It is evident, that no matter how many Officers, deputies, and other law enforcement officers that are here, you will still be outnumbered," the group wrote in another post.
Beth criticized the Kenosha Guard but did not say if Rittenhouse was a part of the group.
“They’re a militia. They’re like a vigilante group,” Beth said of the Kenosha Guard.
Multiple videos showed Rittenhouse with other heavily-armed men in front of businesses.
In one video shared to Twitter, Rittenhouse said, "We're protecting this from the citizens and I just got pepper sprayed by a person in the crowd."
This is Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, an Illinois resident who was just charged with first-degree murder of two people last night in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This teen, whose social media history is full of misogyny and white supremacy, had easy access to an AR-15.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 26, 2020
The person taking the video asks if Rittenhouse responded with non-lethal force
"We don't have non-lethal," the teen responds.
The camera man then asks if Rittenhouse and others are "ready to defend property" and he said yes."