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Forbes

Aug 26, 2020
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Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teen charged with killing protesters during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, appeared to walk by police officers without consequence after firing shots at protesters, according to unverified video from the scene, and had previously posted support for Blue Lives Matter on social media.

Rittenhouse was arrested in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, Wednesday, according to court documents, after he allegedly shot three protesters, two of whom died, in Kenosha before he crossed state lines.

He was charged with one count of first degree intentional murder, according to the documents, but it is unclear if Rittenhouse is the suspected perpetrator of all three shootings.

Video (warning: graphic footage) at the scene appears to show Rittenhouse walking past a group of police vehicles with an assault weapon strapped to his body without being stopped as a protester loudly yells, “He just shot someone.”

Rittenhouse attended a rally for president Donald Trump in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 30., according to a TikTok he posted from the event, BuzzFeed News first reported.

Court records list his occupation as a YMCA lifeguard, according to CBS News, and in his now-deleted Facebook profile, Rittenhouse posted several photos supporting Blue Lives Matter as well as a banner photo of himself holding an assault weapon.

In a statement, Facebook said it found no evidence suggesting Rittenhouse followed a page belonging to Kenosha Guard, nor was he invited to an event they created asking armed citizens to “protect lives and property” after the controversial shooting death of Jacob Blake but before Tuesday’s protests.

KEY BACKGROUND
The Kenosha police department says officers were responding to a 911 call related to a “domestic incident” when they saw Blake, who family attorney Ben Crump said was leaving the scene after “breaking up a fight between two women.” Video of the incident shared to social media shows three officers with their weapons drawn grabbing Blake by the shirt as he tries to enter his car, and an officer then fires multiple shots at Blake’s back. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, and Blake is now recovering in the hospital paralyzed from the waist down.

WHAT’S NEXT
A hearing on Rittenhouse’s possible extradition to Wisconsin will be held on Friday, a spokesman with Lake County State’s Attorney’s office told Forbes. He will be held without bond at Hulse Juvenile Detention Center in Illinois until then.

FURTHER READING
Jacob Blake Paralyzed From Waist Down After Being Shot In Back By Police, Father Says (Forbes
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