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Kyle Rittenhouse lawyers raise $2m for defence with ‘patriot’ video

Legal team claims teenager was exercising right to bear arms during riot

Thursday 24 September 2020 19:11 BST

Lawyers for alleged Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse have raised $2m for his defence after releasing a video claiming he acted patriotically.

Rittenhouse, 17, is accused of fatally shooting two protestors and wounding a third at a Black Lives Matter rally in the Wisconsin city in August.

Now his lawyers claim in the social media video that Rittenhouse was just exercising his right to bear arms during the rioting and that he acted to “defend our communities.”

“A 17-year-old citizen is being sacrificed by politicians but it’s not Kyle Rittenhouse they are after,” says a voice-over at the end of the video.

“Their end game is to strip away the constitutional right of all citizens to defend our communities.”

The 11 minute video, which YouTube has age-restricted, was released by Rittenhouse’s Atlanta lawyer Lin Woods and his #FightBack Foundation.

And in a Tweet earlier this month, that was later deleted, Rittenhouse’s lead attorney John Pierce took a similar line.

“Kyle Rittenhouse will go down in American history alongside that brave unknown patriot ... who fired ‘The Shot Heard Round the World,’’’ he wrote according to the Associated Press.

“A Second American Revolution against Tyranny has begun.”

In a series of social media posts and TV appearances the lawyers have called Kenosha a “war zone” and described their client as a “shining symbol of the American fighting spirit.”

“This is the sacred ground in Kenosha where a 17-year old child became a Minuteman and said “Not on My Watch,”" Mr Pierce wrote in a Tweet.

Rittenhouse from Antioch, Illinois, allegedly shot and killed Anthony Huber, 26, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 26.

Prosecutors say that Rittenhouse shot and killed Mr Rosenbaum, 36, after the protestor threw a plastic bag at the youngster.

The 25 August shootings occurred during chaotic scenes in the city after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was left paralysed.

Kenosha County prosecutors have charged him with one count each of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

He was also faces two counts of reckless endangerment, and with possessing a dangerous weapon as a minor.

Rittenhouse will appear in court in Illinois on Friday for a hearing to decide if he will be returned to Wisconsin.

The Associated Press

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