Wednesday November 24th 2021
After a controversial acquittal
Trump calls Kenosha shooters a “fan”
Former US President Trump thinks Kyle Rittenhouse is a “really good young man”. The 18-year-old shot two people in anti-racism protests in 2020, and his acquittal has been in the US for days. Now Trump tunes in again and reports on a meeting.
The acquittal of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse sparked angry protests in the United States. The young man shot two people with an assault rifle and seriously injured another in August 2020 on the sidelines of anti-racism protests in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, but a jury ruled last week that Rittenhouse was innocent. The jury followed the main defender’s argument that the then 17-year-old defended himself.
In an interview with the broadcaster Fox News Now said the former US President Donald Trump, Rittenhouse had visited him after the sensational trial in his property Mar-a-Lago in Florida. On the show hosted by Sean Hannity, Trump said that Rittenhouse was exposed to “prosecutorial misconduct”. He “didn’t have to go through a lawsuit for this”. The ex-president also speaks of self-defense: Rittenhouse “would have been dead if he hadn’t pulled the trigger” because one of his victims threatened him with a gun in the head and shot himself shortly afterwards. “Kyle would have been dead,” said Trump.
Rittenhouse is considered a kind of figurehead in right-wing circles. There it was spread that he had gone to the protests to help as a paramedic or to protect shops from looting. The man injured by him admitted in court that he himself pointed a gun at the teenager. The public prosecutor stated against it that Rittenhouse had provoked the violence himself as a self-proclaimed “auxiliary policeman”. He should never have traveled to Kenosha with an assault rifle.
Rittenhouse describes itself as a BLM supporter
“He’s a really good young man,” Trump told Fox News. Rittenhouse only recently left Mar-a-Lago. He described the 18-year-old as a “fan” of the ex-president. Rittenhouse had recently commented on the trial and his acquittal. Also on Fox News, he called himself a supporter of the anti-racist Black Lives Matter movement (BLM).
After the verdict, US President Joe Biden warned against violence and called for calm. “The Kenosha ruling will make many Americans angry and concerned, including me, but we have to acknowledge the jury’s decision,” said Biden. He called on all demonstrators to peacefully express their views. Many African Americans viewed the verdict as indicative of a judicial system that discriminated against minorities. Numerous Republicans, including Trump, welcomed the jury’s decision, which acquitted Rittenhouse of allegations of manslaughter, attempted murder and endangering others.
Protests, some of which were violent, broke out in Kenosha in 2020 after a police officer seriously wounded the African American Jacob Blake with multiple gunshots in the back. The Rittenhouse, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, had traveled to the city and joined armed men who said they wanted to protect shops from looters. Rittenhouse is white, as are his victims.