The person who is alleged to have killed two people and injured another during the protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin following the killing of yet another unarmed black man by police, has been identified.
The law enforcement–obsessed 17-year-old who was charged with shooting and killing two people and injuring another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests for Jacob Blake appeared in the front row at a Donald Trump rally in January.
Kyle Howard Rittenhouse’s social media presence is filled with him posing with weapons, posting “Blue Lives Matter,” and supporting Trump for president. Footage from the Des Moines, Iowa, rally on Jan. 30 shows Rittenhouse feet away from the president, in the front row, to the left of the podium. He posted a TikTok video from the event.
Seven months later, Rittenhouse went with his rifle to the third night of Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha after police shot Blake, a Black man who is now paralyzed as a result, according to his family. Rittenhouse attended as an armed vigilante, supposedly assisting police and protecting property in an unofficial capacity. Instead, he allegedly prowled the protest with a gun. Videos captured him fraternizing with law enforcement and attempting to get their attention.
A close look at his social media accounts and background show a teenager obsessed with law enforcement who also identified as a strong supporter of President Donald Trump and “Blue Lives Matter,” a pro–law enforcement movement that evolved in response to Black Lives Matter.
Of course, the Trump campaign is trying to distance themselves from him.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday, Trump 2020 campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said, “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.”
But there can be little doubt that he thought he was doing this is support of Trump who has been condemning the protests, praising the police, and demanding that harsh measures be taken against the protestors. Trump is the kind of coward who uses incendiary rhetoric to inflame others to act on his behalf and then tries to play innocent.