Kyle Rittenhouse says said that his case was not about the contentious issue of race — and that, in fact, he supports Black Lives Matter.
“This case . . . had nothing to do with race, had to do with the right to self-defense,” Rittenhouse (inset), 18, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview set to air Monday.
“I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement and peacefully demonstrating.”
Rittenhouse was cleared by a jury of attempted homicide, homicide, and reckless endangerment charges on Friday. This followed the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum (36), and Anthony Huber (26). Also, Rittenhouse’s wounding of Gaige Großkreutz (27) on August 25, 2020.
At 17 years old, he brought to Kenosha a semiautomatic pistol and a first aid kit. This was in an attempt to defend businesses from riots that broke out following the arrest of Jacob Blake by the police. Blake was a black man paralyzed to the waist.
His lawyers claimed that the teenager was acting in self-defense and opened fire.
Cross-examination revealed that Rittenhouse maintained that he was forced to defend himself. He claimed that the protesters were an imminent threat to his health.
“I tell everybody there what happened. I said I had to do it,” he said. “I was just attacked. I was dizzy, I was vomiting, I couldn’t breathe.”
This high-profile case sparked debate about whether Rittenhouse was using his legal right of weapons use during violence in Kenosha, or whether he was dangerous vigilante who escalated tensions.
“I believe they came to the correct verdict and I’m glad that everything went well,” he said.
“It’s been a rough journey but we made it through it. We made it through the hard part.”
The jury deliberated for close to 3¹/₂ days before reaching a verdict.
Rittenhouse was critical of his prosecution, but said that he believed his treatment wasn’t unusual.
“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,” he said.
“It’s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone.”
According to legal experts, the prosecution presented a complex case that could have been more successful if it had been pleaded for lesser charges.