State Watch

Illinois teen charged with murder in shooting at Jacob Blake protest

Illinois police on Wednesday arrested a teenager after two people were fatally shot during a Black Lives Matter protest Tuesday night in Kenosha, Wis.

The city has faced three straight nights of demonstrations after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back by police and left at least temporarily paralyzed, according to his family.

Court records show Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, Ill., was charged as a fugitive from justice. He face a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in Kenosha. Minutes from the county clerk indicate Rittenhouse is currently in the custody of the Antioch Police Department and being held without bond.

The Antioch Police Department said in a statement that the suspect is in custody, pending an extradition hearing to transfer his custody to Wisconsin.

Rittenhouse is listed in Lake County Circuit Court records filed Wednesday as a “fugitive from  justice.” Wisconsin law would allow him to be charged as an adult if he faces charges there, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The FBI is assisting in the investigation, officials said.

Two people were killed and another injured in Tuesday’s shooting at the protests sometime near midnight. Their identities have not been released. Cellphone footage captured a young white man shooting a semi-automatic rifle in the street before fleeing, according to The Associated Press.

One of the people killed was shot in the head, while the other was shot in the chest, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Another person suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Witness accounts and videos indicate that police let the alleged shooter walk past them with his hands raised and while carrying a rifle as protesters called for his arrest, according to the AP.

The sheriff told the Journal Sentinel that armed people were patrolling the streets during the protests, and he didn’t know if the man was a part of the group. It is legal for those over 18 to openly carry firearms without a license in the state.

The AP noted that the suspect’s Facebook page is filed with references to Blue Lives Matter, a movement in support of law enforcement. The page also includes a photo of him holding an assault rifle.

The shooting came during the third night of protests following the shooting of Blake.

Video shows Blake being shot in the back by officers who trail him as he walks around an SUV and opens a door. Blake’s children were in the back of the SUV.

Blake’s father on Tuesday said Blake was at least temporarily paralyzed from the waist down because of his injuries. Three Kenosha officers involved have been put on leave.

The protests over the shooting of Blake come as the U.S. continues to deal with the fallout from protests and demonstrations across the nation after the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) authorized 500 more members of the Wisconsin National Guard to be deployed to Kenosha County on Wednesday following the shooting. He declared a state of emergency for the protests on Tuesday.

“I want to be very clear: we should not tolerate violence against any person. I’m grateful there has already been swift action to arrest one person involved,” Evers said in a statement. “The individual or individuals whose actions resulted in this tragic loss of life must be held accountable.”

President Trump tweeted that Evers agreed to federal assistance and federal law enforcement and the National Guard will be sent to Kenosha to “restore LAW AND ORDER!”

Updated at 3:18 p.m.

Tags arrest Black Lives Matter Black Lives Matter protests Donald Trump Illinois kenosha Kenosha protests Kenosha shooting Shooting Tony Evers Wisconsin
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