The night before his visit to Wisconsin, United States President Donald Trump expressed his support for 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who was recorded to have fired at two protesters in Kenosha, resulting in their deaths. The Republican leader shared the notion of the suspect's attorney that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.
Act of self-defense?
Authorities have charged the teenager with five felonies and a misdemeanor after he shot three people on Tuesday, two of which suffered fatal wounds. News media outlets reported that Rittenhouse brandished his gun, acting as self-appointed security to control protests and viewed himself as a member of the militia.
According to USA Today, President Trump said that Rittenhouse appeared to have been in serious trouble when he watched the video footage of the incident. The US leader added that the suspect would have been killed had he not used his gun to defend himself but citing that everything was still under investigation.
The point that Trump was referring to, however, was a time in the video where Rittenhouse has already shot and killed one other protester as written in charging documents and separate footage.
The president's statements come the night before he was set to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, the location of the latest surge of protests after police officers in the region shot Jacob Blake on August 23.
Trump has continuously used the unrest rampant across the nation to attack his presidential rival, former Vice-President Joe Biden. The Republican accuses Democrats of not doing their part in trying to quell the violent demonstrations in the area.
Democrats, including Biden, on the other hand, argued that Trump is the one who has been fanning the flames of racism and is responsible for the surge of incidents ravaging the country which he is the president of.
Fighting against protests
Rittenhouse came to Kenosha from a nearby Illinois town due to the surge of violent protests in the area. The suspect is known to have been a supporter of the Republican president as his social media page is filled with positive posts about Trump, as reported by Yahoo News.
Presidential candidate Biden has also expressed his criticisms of Trump who he alleged is stoking the violence surging across the country. The former vice president said that the Republican leader sees the violence and is using it as a political lifeline.
During a follow-up interview on Monday, Biden said Trump would not even deny any of his supporters who may be charged with killing an individual because of his continuous attacks on political rivals.
Trump's comments on Monday supported that of Rittenhouse's lawyer who branded his client as a hero of the country who, at the time, had no choice but to use his gun to defend himself from attackers. The attorney, John Pierce, told reporters that the case going against the suspect is the most apparent political prosecution in American history.
Pierce stated that Rittenhouse came to Kenosha to respond to a call for help from one of the area's business owners who were afraid that his establishment would come under fire from protesters. While the attorney revealed he did not know who filed the initial request, he said that his client and several other associates traveled to Kenosha in response to the call.