Rittenhouse’s legal team says nearly $500K has been raised for his defense

The 18-year-old is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and attempted intentional homicide in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooting last year

Despite being charged with two murders during a protest in Wisconsin, Kyle Rittenhouse has received tremendous financial support, some of it from law enforcement.

The Illinois teenager charged with killing two people and injuring one during a protest for Jacob Blake, the Black man shot by a white police officer last August, claims it has raised almost half of a million dollars for his defense. The claim was made in a Twitter post on Monday from an account in defense of Rittenhouse.

Kyle Rittenhouse thegrio.com
This undated booking photo from the Antioch (Illinois) Police Department shows Kyle Rittenhouse in late August. (Antioch Police Department/Chicago Tribune via AP)

“Since March 1st, The Milo Fund LLC and FreeKyleUSA have raised $464,111 and processed payment for $362,050 in case-related expenses for attorneys fees, investigators, legal consultants, subject matter experts, and security. We can’t thank you enough for your help and support,” tweeted out FreeKyleUSA, an organization created to raise money for the young man’s defense by his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse.

The organization is in collaboration with The Milo Fund LLC, the “business/transactional entity formed to receive donations and pay legal expenses,” per the Twitter page.

“FreeKyleUSA is Wendy’s fundraising effort to raise money for Kyle’s defense. The Milo Fund LLC (named after his puppy Milo) is the business/transactional entity formed to receive donations and pay legal expenses.”

In “case-related expenses,” including legal consultants, subject matter experts, investigators, security, and attorney fees, the defense fund has processed $362,050.

Another tweet adds: “#KyleRittenhouse and Wendy want to thank everyone for your support and assistance for the past ten months. We’ve been fighting hard every day to correct the misinformation surrounding Kyle and preparing for the upcoming trial. Your assistance has been critical.”

Another adds: “Kyle’s time has been focused heavily on schoolwork and preparing for trial. He is on track to complete high school by August 1st and he hopes to be enrolled in college in the fall. Nearly all of Kyle’s free time is spent working out or training with his pup Milo.”

Kyle Rittenhouse thegrio.com
A man wears a shirt that says “Free Kyle”, referencing Rittenhouse, during a rally for President Donald Trump on September 18, 2020 in Bemidji, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Prosecutors allege that Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, opened fire during a protest over Blake, killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz.

Blake was left paralyzed after being shot by officer Rusten Sheskey which sparked nationwide protests. The Kenosha police officer has since returned to work.

Rittenhouse’s trial begins on Nov. 1. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

As reported by theGrio in April, it was discovered that public officials and law enforcement have been donating to fundraisers in support of far-right activists, accused vigilantes like Rittenhouse, and cops who are accused of shooting Black people, including Sheskey.

Sheskey was initially arrested after shooting Blake but was released on bail in November after his $2M bond was paid for by conservative fundraisers.

He was able to raise $586,940 between Aug. 27 and Jan. 7 through the site GiveSendGo. Much of the money was funded by public officials and police. One $25 donation included a note that said: “God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong.”

It continued with, “Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”

The message and donation were traced back to Sgt. William Kelly of the Norfolk police department in Virginia. He served as the executive officer of internal affairs but was fired for violating policy, according to the Washington Post. The emails of some donors were able to be traced back to the source.

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