Kyle Rittenhouse, acquitted of charges of killing two people and injuring another during unrest after a white police officer shot a black man, said in a new interview that he is “not a racist person” and supports blacks. Lives Matter Movement.
“The matter has nothing to do with race. It had nothing to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense,” the 18-year-old tells Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview aired Monday night Rittenhouse is white, as is the one he shot.
Rittenhouse was 17 last year when he traveled 32 kilometers from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where protests were held in the wake of the August 23 shooting of Jacob Blake. That shooting and the reaction in Kenosha – protests that turned disastrous – became part of a national count on the use of police force against black people following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May at the hands of police.
Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-style semiautomatic rifle, joined others who said they were intended to protect private property from potential damage on August 25. During their trial, prosecutors argued that the teenager posed as a “wannabe soldier” who went looking for trouble that night. Rittenhouse countered that he fired in self-defense after the attack and fearing for his life.
The shooting made Rittenhouse a rallying cry for Second Amendment rights supporters and those angered by the sometimes violent protests in some US cities following Floyd’s death.
Rittenhouse was photographed at a bar before the trial with outspoken members of the far-right Proud Boys. Rittenhouse’s lawyers have said he is not a white supremacist.
“I am not a racist person. I support the BLM movement, I support peaceful demonstrations,” Rittenhouse tells Carlson in interview excerpts released by Fox News ahead of its broadcast.
Last Friday a jury found Rittenhouse not guilty of manslaughter, attempted murder and reckless endangerment in the deaths of 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber and now 28-year-old Gage Grosskretz.