Kyle Rittenhouse: ‘I support the BLM movement’
Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who was acquitted of murder last week after shooting and killing two people in Kenosha, Wis., during civil unrest there last year, said he supports the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
“I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement,” Rittenhouse said during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a portion of which is slated to air on Carlson’s program on Monday evening.
“I support peacefully demonstrating,” the teen told Carlson, according to a transcript of the interview. “I believe there needs to be change. I believe there’s a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases. It’s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone.”
The jury on Friday found Rittenhouse not guilty of all five counts he faced, including intentional homicide, after defense attorneys argued Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26.
Rittenhouse also injured a third person during the shooting, which took place after the teen traveled to Kenosha from his home in Illinois. He said he intended to help defend businesses that were under threat of being damaged during the unrest that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, earlier that summer.
The Rittenhouse verdict was widely celebrated over the weekend by conservatives, many of whom see his acquittal as a win for gun rights and self-defense laws nationwide. Many liberals have panned the verdict as setting a dangerous precedent about self-defense claims and the disparities in the criminal justice system for defendants based on race.
Several protests have broken out in cities nationwide following the verdict.
“The verdict speaks to the dramatic differences in perspective people have, based on racial background, about justice in our country,” civil rights attorney Shavar Jeffries told The Hill on Friday. “For many people of color, the idea that they could show up with an assault rifle at the site of a rally, kill people, and find themselves exonerated is something beyond comprehension.”
Rittenhouse, in the interview with Carlson, described the fear he said he felt during the confrontation that led to the shooting.
“I tell everybody there what happened,” he said. “I said I had to do it. I was just attacked. I was dizzy. I was vomiting. I couldn’t breathe.”
Rittenhouse broke down in tears on the stand as he testified during his own trial and collapsed when the verdict was read aloud by the jury foreperson on Friday.
“The jury reached the correct verdict,” he said during a previously released portion of the interview with Carlson. “Self-defense is not illegal.”
This article was updated at 7:48 p.m.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.