Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse says he is not racist and supports BLM

·2-min read
 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Kyle Rittenhouse has denied being racist and said he supports the Black Lives Matter movement.

The 18-year-old was acquitted over the killing of two men and wounding of another during the protests that erupted after the shooting of a black man by a white police officer.

“This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self defence,” he told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Rittenhouse was 17 when he travelled 20 miles from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to the protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.

The city had been wracked with violent demonstrations in the wake of the August 23 shooting of Jacob Blake.

No charges were filed against Officer Rusten Sheskey who shot Mr Blake, leaving him paralysed.

Justin Blake, left, uncle of Jacob Blake, listens to the verdict being read outside the Kenosha County Courthouse (AP)
Justin Blake, left, uncle of Jacob Blake, listens to the verdict being read outside the Kenosha County Courthouse (AP)

It became part of the national reckoning over police use of force against black people following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, the previous May, at the hands of police.

Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle, joined others who said they were intent on protecting private property from potential damage on August 25.

During his trial, prosecutors argued that the teenager was a “wannabe soldier” who went looking for trouble that night.

Rittenhouse said he fired in self-defence after he was attacked and in fear for his life.

Kyle Rittenhouse weeps as he is found not guilty on all counts at Kenosha County Courthouse (AP)
Kyle Rittenhouse weeps as he is found not guilty on all counts at Kenosha County Courthouse (AP)

He was photographed in a bar before the trial with apparent members of the far-right Proud Boys. Rittenhouse’s lawyers have said he is not a white supremacist.

“I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement, I support peacefully demonstrating,” Rittenhouse told Carlson.

Last Friday, a jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on charges of homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering over the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28.

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