Numerous commentators claim that all available evidence shows that Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he opened fire on protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The teen is accused of killing two protesters.
Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder over the shooting of three demonstrators – two of whom died – during riots in the city on Tuesday night.
Although painted as a bloodthirsty white supremacist by some journalists and activists, multiple observers have made the case that Rittenhouse had good intentions and pulled the trigger as a last resort.
Entrepreneur Mike Coudrey, who has more than 270,000 Twitter followers, compiled footage from around the internet, arguing that the violence, while regrettable, was a “clear case of self-defense.” He’s far from the only one who shares this belief.
Like many other people defending Rittenhouse, Coudrey referenced interviews that the teen gave earlier in the evening. In a short clip recorded by Daily Caller videographer Richie McGinnis, Rittenhouse doesn’t fit the hate-filled caricature presented by some media personalities and social media commentators.
“People are getting injured, and it’s our job to protect this business. And part of my job is also to help people. If somebody’s hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself obviously. I also have my med kit,” he said.
In a separate interview with journalist Elijah Schaffer, the teen said that he was defending businesses from rioters. As the video ends, Rittenhouse offers medical assistance to a protester.
The #KenoshaRiot shooter was offering medical help to #BLM rioters earlier in the night So the whole premise that he was a white supremacist or the shooting took place due to political disagreements become more difficult to prove Also, he stated why he was armed and there https://t.co/ThS1B0Royo
Schaffer noted that there seemed to be no signs of “malicious intentions,” and it’s unlikely that the shootings were politically motivated.
Coudrey and like-minded observers say videos of the actual shootings dispel the notion that Rittenhouse was the aggressor. Although the exact circumstances surrounding the events are still unclear, footage shows a protester, identified as Joseph Rosenbaum, chasing Rittenhouse into a car lot. As Rosenbaum closes in, he throws an object at the armed teenager. The 17-year-old quickly spins around and fires his AR-15, hitting Rosenbaum in the head.
Great video sync of multiple angles of first self defense shooting by #kylerittenhouse. You can clearly see the chase, molotov get thrown, and then the attempted theft of his rifle.#Kenosha#KenoshaRiots#KenoshaProtestspic.twitter.com/yN0RnFl2dO
After circling around, Rittenhouse makes a phone call, perhaps to the police, and then runs off camera.
Several demonstrators appear to have chased after the teen, although it’s not clear if they knew that he had opened fire minutes earlier. A slow-motion video shows Rittenhouse falling on the ground as a group of protesters rush towards him. One individual kicks him, while another demonstrator tries to strike him with a skateboard. Several shots can be heard, with one of them fatally wounding the protester holding the skateboard. Another demonstrator who charged at the 17-year-old, believed to have been armed with a pistol, was shot in the arm.
Yes…it looks like self-defense… https://t.co/lQ8Hf0rfbQ
Well, well, well… pic.twitter.com/v5qim1b6DS
Schaffer shared a photograph of Rittenhouse on the ground as he tried to shield himself from a protester’s kick, noting that “all evidence must be examined here.” After squeezing off several rounds, Rittenhouse gets up and walks away.
The video evidence “strongly suggests self-defense,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, tweeted, expressing surprise that the teen had been charged with murder.
Journalist Paul Joseph Watson was less diplomatic with his analysis, stating that Rittenhouse “acted in self-defense and any of you hypocrites in his position would have done exactly the same.” Conservative pundit Mark Dice was similarly outraged by the teen’s arrest, arguing that “a zealous prosecutor just wanted to appease the mob by charging him.”
Despite the video evidence, it appears that many on social media see Rittenhouse as a cold-blooded killer. Fox News host Tucker Carlson was even labeled a “murder apologist” for noting that the governor of Wisconsin had refused to deploy enough National Guardsmen to protect the city from rioters.
“How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?” Tucker asked in the controversial segment.
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