In what may not be the biggest surprise, it was reported that the teenager accused of murdering at least two people at a protest over the police killing of an unarmed Black man appears to be a supporter of President Donald Trump. When reading between those lines, another apparent truth becomes abundantly evident: It seems that Trump and his anti-Black vitriol and anti-protest rhetoric at least helped inspire the 17-year to kill people.
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Kyle Rittenhouse, the alleged gunman behind a deadly shooting spree during a protest over Jacob Blake‘s killing in Kenosha, Wisconsin, late Tuesday night, was seen in the front row of a Trump rally earlier this year. The apparently pro-police 17-year-old who was initially linked to law enforcement through social media reports attended a rally for the president in Iowa on January 2, BuzzFeed News first reported. The report was based on a video apparently recorded by Rittenhouse himself from an intimate vantage point and posted to his TikTok account.
The video was simply accompanied by two words: “Trump rally!”
While that doesn’t explicitly mean that Rittenhouse was inspired by the president to kill, there is certainly no way to rule out that possibility after BuzzFeed reported that the teenager’s “social media presence is filled with him posing with weapons, posting ‘Blue Lives Matter,’ and supporting Trump for president.”
But in a twist, though, the two people who Rittenhouse killed were not Black, a fact that likely belies the assumption that an armed Trump supporter was hunting Black people. On the contrary, the fatal victims from Tuesday night’s protest have been identified as Anthony Huber and Joseph “Jojo” Rosenbaum, two white men from Wisconsin. A third victim who was recovering was not immediately identified, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. One person was shot in the head and another person was shot in the chest, both at point-blank range.
While an investigation has begun, the deadly shooting appeared to be the latest evidence of violence inspired by the president, who has repeatedly condemned such Black Lives Matter protests like the ones held nightly in Kenosha since Blake was shot Sunday.
The Guardian last year documented at least 52 incidents where “dozens of Donald Trump supporters have carried out or threatened acts of violence” since the president’s election in 2016. The list includes people who “Publicly declared an allegiance to Trump before committing or threatening violence against members of political or racial groups that Trump has denounced.”
That description, in particular, seems to be the best logical explanation to prompt a scenario where Rittenhouse arms himself with an AR-15 and drives across state lines from his native Illinois ready to use his assault rifle in Kenosha.
To add insult to literal injury, there was also unverified video footage on social media purporting to show “the Kenosha shooter being offered water from the Kenosha police” and claiming “The police is working with the shooting militia.”
The suggestion that Rittenhouse may have been working with local law enforcement was met with a sharp rebuke by national civil rights leaders.
“We are equally outraged by videos showing Kenosha Police Department Officers exhibiting camaraderie toward militia members – who were out in violation of the curfew before the shootings — and also seemingly ignoring protesters who tried to identify the shooter in this incident,” a statement from people who include Kristen Clarke from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Rev. Al Sharpton said in part. “Police solidarity with white militia members is abhorrent and intolerable – and it represents a highly dangerous threat to the lives and rights of people of color.”
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Violent White Folks Who Were Taken Into Custody With Loving Care By Police
1. Duke Webb, bowling alley gunman in Rockford, IllinoisSource:Winnebago County Sheriff's Office 1 of 27
2. Brad Parscale, demoted former Trump campaign managerSource:Getty 2 of 27
3. Brett HankisonSource:Shelby County Sheriff's Department 3 of 27
4. Thomas Kinworthy accused of killing Black cop, shooting another4 of 27
5. Dalton Potter allegedly shot a cop and another man
5 of 27
BLUE ALERT issued for Dalton Potter, age 29. Potter is suspected of shooting a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy overnight. Last known to be on foot on Interstate 75 at the Whitfield/Gordon County line. Potter is considered armed and dangerous. Call 911. #BlueAlert pic.twitter.com/Vdyl8ReGaW— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) September 7, 2020
6. White suspect physically attacking officer
6 of 27
Interesting.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 30, 2020
Thinking about Jacob Blake right now. Sure seems like white people get the benefit of the doubt when engaged with the police... pic.twitter.com/kLh9iCJepp
7. Kyle Rittenhouse, Kenosha Jacob Blake shooterSource:Twitter 7 of 27
8. White supremacist who beat a woman on video
8 of 27
Nicholas Arnold Schock, 36, of Wauchula was arrested and charged with battery and disturbing the peace and bail was set at $620. He remains at the Sarasota County Jail. pic.twitter.com/ggDBjAxCN1— Carlos R. Munoz 📰 (@ReadCarlos) August 2, 2020
9. West Hollywood shooter9 of 27
10. Gregory and Travis McMichaelsSource:Glynn County Sheriff's Office 10 of 27
11. Anthony J. Trifiletti, shot an unarmed Black manSource:Saint Paul Police Department 11 of 27
12. Matthew Bernard, Killed Three People12 of 27
13.13 of 27
14. Mark Boisey14 of 27
15. Lorne BrownSource:NBC Miami 15 of 27
16. Patrick Crusius, El Paso Mall Mass Shooting Suspect
16 of 27
Patrick Crusius allegedly wrote a racist manifesto before killing at least 18 people in Saturday's shooting at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso. The suspect, a white male, was safely taken into custody.— NewsOne (@newsone) August 3, 2019
This is America. #Walmartshooting #ElPasoShootinghttps://t.co/cjYzJZsCXn
17. Aaron DeanSource:Tarrant County Jail 17 of 27
18. Amber Guyger18 of 27
19. James Holmes
19 of 27
Today on #CrimeStories: Prosecutors have released video of #Aurora shooter #JamesHolmes’ interviews w/ a psychiatrist. Tune in now on @SiriusXM ch. 111 for insight on the evaluation of his sanity in the #Colorado theater massacre. #NancyGrace #CrimeAlert #CrimeOnline #MassKiller pic.twitter.com/DKRD2s0ay8— Crime Online (@crimeonlinenews) February 26, 2019
20. Michael Mattioli20 of 27
21. Dylann RoofSource:Getty 21 of 27
22. Matthew Sloan Punched And Spit On Police...
22 of 27
Again, if Matthew Sloan was a Black man this would be a much different story. https://t.co/K4cwb6SQ38— NewsOne (@newsone) July 12, 2019
23. Assaulted Police And Even Chased Them...
23 of 27
This man never complied— Gambling Refund 💵™ (@OffshoreRefund) May 14, 2019
This man actually hit police multiple times
This man chased police and made them fear for safety
This man was not killed!
Pamela Turner was murdered and pregnant, she was never given the same opportunity. WHY? @KingJamespic.twitter.com/DfzdICbOy8
24. Shot At Police At Trump Tower...24 of 27
25. Shot At Police At Walmart -- And Was Let Go...25 of 27
26. Man Holds Black Man At Gunpoint And He Is Calmly Arrested...
26 of 27
Downtown CHARLOTTESVILLE right now. F*ing white trash has a black man submitted first with a knife around his neck, then makes him kneel still threatening to stab him.— 𝔻𝕣. 𝕄𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕪’𝕤 𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕡𝕪 𝕥𝕠𝕕𝕒𝕪 (@tomorrowtambien) December 28, 2018
Please, Twitter do your thing in the name of justice #resist @washingtonpost @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/klg7g5ac22
27. Grady Wayne Wilkes27 of 27
Donald Trump Inspired Kyle Rittenhouse To Shoot And Kill People, Reports Suggest was originally published on newsone.com