More than $2 million reportedly have been raised to fund the defense of Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who has been charged with killing two rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month.
As of Monday, crowdfunding site GiveSendGo has accumulated more than $523,000 for Rittenhouse. And a report from The Associated Press published Thursday said that defense lawyers representing the teen have brought in about $2 million in funds.
Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third and a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession.
Last week, #FightBack Foundation, which has been credited with helping the team raise significant funds for Rittenhouse, per the AP, published an 11-minute documentary outlining their client’s actions as self-defense.
The video shows the teen being chased as the narrator notes that “directly in front of Rittenhouse, armed with bats and other weapons, a mob is forming a barricade.” Cutting to a clip of a news interview from Daily Caller reporter Richie McGinnis, who filmed the chase, the reporter says a gunshot nearby was either fired into the air or at Rittenhouse. That was when the teen turned and aimed his weapon at 36-year-old Joseph D. Rosenbaum, according to McGinnis, and fired off four shots.
The video also frames the prosecution of Rittenhouse in political terms; the narrator states during the doc: “But it’s not Kyle Rittenhouse they’re after; their end game is to strip away the Constitutional right of all citizens to defend our communities, our personal property, our lives, and the lives of our loved ones.”
Last month, Pierce Bainbridge, the law firm defending Rittenhouse, said the 17-year-old earlier in the day was cleaning up graffiti from rioters after having finished a shift as a lifeguard in Kenosha. He later “received information about a call for help from a local” car dealership owner who allegedly needed protection for his properties, apparently “including two nearby mechanic’s shops,” from rioters and looters.
Rittenhouse and a friend armed themselves and went to help, the statement said, noting that their weapons were in Wisconsin and “never crossed state lines.”
Describing the events of the incident, the statement noted that Rittenhouse was on his way to a mechanic’s shop when multiple rioters accosted him, recognizing him as one of the people trying to protect the shops in the area. The teen tried to flee as he was chased by the “mob,” and “[u]pon the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with an attacker lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking the attacker.”
“In fear for his life and concerned the crowd would either continue to shoot at him or even use his own weapon against him, Kyle had no choice but to fire multiple rounds towards his immediate attackers, striking two, including one armed attacker,” the law firm added.
Rittenhouse, the defense team maintains, was failed by those in power that left the rioting unchecked.
“A 17-year-old child should not have to take up arms in America to protect life and property. That is the job of state and local governments. However, those governments have failed, and law-abiding citizens have no choice but to protect their own communities as their forefathers did at Lexington and Concord in 1775,” the statement said.
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