Kyle Rittenhouse says he supports BLM movement in Fox News interview
"It never had anything to do with race," Rittenhouse told Fox News' Tucker Carlson. "It had to do with the right to self-defense."
In one of his first sit-down interviews after being acquitted of murdering two people and injuring a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year, Kyle Rittenhouse said his case had “nothing to do with race.”
“It never had anything to do with race,” Rittenhouse told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. “It had to do with the right to self-defense.”
“Right,” Carlson replied.
“I’m not a racist person,” Rittenhouse maintained. “I support the BLM movement. I support peacefully demonstrating.”
The 18-year-old teenager will appear this week on a long-form Fox News interview special called Tucker Carlson Originals. A portion of his transcript was provided to Mediaite.
In the interview preview, Rittenhouse also addresses the legal system saying, “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. It’s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone.”
Rittenhouse was 17 when he traveled from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to act as a medic and protect private property last summer during the protests that followed the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot seven times in his back in front of three of his children.
Rittenhouse has no medical or security training.
As previously reported, bystander and drone video captured most of the frenzied chain of events that followed: On Aug. 25, 2020, the one night he was in Kenosha, armed with an AR-15, Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, during an altercation, then fatally shot Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28.
Rittenhouse then walked away from the scene, returned home to his neighboring state and later turned himself in.
Prosecutors portrayed the teen as a “wannabe soldier” who had gone looking for trouble that fateful night, the person responsible for creating a dangerous situation in the first place by pointing his rifle at demonstrators. Defense attorneys described Rittenhouse as helpful to law enforcement on the night of the shootings. As previously reported, officers let Rittenhouse and other armed people roam Kenosha’s streets despite a curfew and gave them bottles of water, with one officer heard saying over a loudspeaker, “We appreciate you guys.”
After being found not guilty of first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide on Friday, Rittenhouse’s verdict further split a divided nation, with those on the political left who feel he provoked the killings with his heavily armed presence, and those on the political right who feel he stood up for his second amendment rights.
Jeri Bonavia, who runs the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort Educational Fund, a gun control group, told The New York Times the Rittenhouse acquittal was a “win for the fringe.”
“The vast majority of Americans will never carry a firearm in public, but there are people who will feel emboldened now,” she said. “It’s a dangerous situation.”