On the evening of Aug. 25, 2020, the Kenosha Police Department — in Wisconsin — responded to reports of gunfire. Two people lost their lives and one went to the hospital with “non-life-threatening injuries.” At that time it was unclear who had perpetrated these horrible acts.
What Started the Protest?
During the third night of protests over Jacob Blake, — a Black 29-year-old man — who was paralyzed when a Wisconsin police officer shot him several times in the back.
Blake’s incident was filmed by several witnesses and has since gone viral. The four of the seven shots fired by the officer struck Blake in his spine. These shots severed Blake’s spinal cord and he is still currently struggling to live, according to his lawyer Benjamin Crump.
The Hunt For Rittenhouse
Upon investigating the shooting that occurred during the protest; officers recovered footage of an individual shooting into the crowd. In the video, the suspect is heard saying, “I just killed somebody.”
The authorities announced they had reviewed the video footage and were confident they would have an arrest soon. The vigilante appeared to be a white male holding a semi-automatic as he jogged towards the clashing protesters and officers.
Rittenhouse’s Next Moves
People in the crowd started to head towards the suspect, causing the man to stumble and fall. One person in the crowd is heard asking what the man had done; before shouts for medics was heard. The man then proceeded to walk down the street. As more squad cars showed up the man raised his hands but continued along his path.
Witnesses are heard screaming that the man had just shot someone. However, several of the vehicles passed by to attend to those injured. The next day — Aug. 26, 2020 — Kenosha’s Police Chief Daniel Miskinis confirmed that they had located and charged a 17-year-old from Illinois with the horrific crime.
It was at that time the victims that the teen murdered were identified. One was a 36-year-old from Kenosha, the other was a 26-year-old from Silver Lake, Wisconsin. The teenager involved in the killing’s name is Kyle Rittenhouse.
The Arrest of Rittenhouse
Rittenhouse was arrested at his home in Antioch. By Aug. 27, investigators discovered that Rittenhouse had previously been in a youth police cadet program. A program that has a likeness for guns, according to the Public Safety Cadet’s website and officials.
The site also states that is there “mission to develop disciplined, educated and diverse candidates who are team-oriented, physically fit, and prepared to serve the Denver Community through public safety employment.”
As authorities investigated Rittenhouse’s social media accounts they found mainly items about weapons, “Blue Lives Matter,” and posts supporting Donald Trump for President. One such post was dated several months back on his TikTok account when he attended a rally held by the President.
Rittenhouse had reportedly attended the protest under the pretense of assisting officers and protecting property. All of course in an unofficial capacity. This however seems not to have been the case.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Buzzfeed News: The Kenosha Shooting Suspect Was In The Front Row Of A Trump Rally In January
CNN: Kenosha shooting suspect is a former member of a youth police cadet program, Illinois police say
BBC: Jacob Blake: Two shot dead in third night of Wisconsin unrest
CNN: Illinois teen arrested in fatal shooting at Kenosha protest, police say
CBS: Two killed, one wounded during third night of protests in Kenosha over Jacob Blake shooting
Denver’s Department of Public Safety: Public Safety Cadet Program
Inline Image Courtesy of Joe Brusky Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of Tony Roberts’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License