Kyle Rittenhouse, who was acquitted on all charges related to fatally shooting two people at a racial injustice protest last year, says he supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I’m not a racist person; I support the BLM movement, I support peacefully demonstrating,” Rittenhouse told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in an excerpt from an interview set to air Monday night.
“And 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. “And it’s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of somebody.”
Rittenhouse, 18, was found not guilty Friday of charges related to fatally shooting two men and wounding a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white police officer.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers argued the Illinois teen was defending himself from attackers after he went to Wisconsin in an effort to protect businesses and provide medical assistance during the August 2020 demonstrations.
“I told everybody there, ‘I had to do it. I was just attacked.’ I was dizzy, I was vomiting, I couldn’t breathe,” Rittenhouse said in his interview with Carlson.
“This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense,” Rittenhouse added.
Rittenhouse’s acquittal sparked some protests around the country, while many conservatives rejoiced. The teen’s $2 million bond was mostly paid last year by conservatives through a legal defense fund, and he has been met with praise by right-wing commentators, including Carlson.
After his release from jail on bond, prosecutors said Rittenhouse was spotted at a Wisconsin bar flashing the “OK” sign — a gesture that has been co-opted by known white supremacist groups.
He was also seen consuming alcohol while being serenaded by a group of adult men who sang the Proud Boys’ anthem, according to prosecutors who had filed a motion with the court to restrict him from doing such things.
Rittenhouse’s lawyer said at the time that he was not, nor has he ever been, a member of a white supremacist group.