Photo Courtesy of CNN
Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old boy, is facing charges after he crossed state lines with an assault weapon, intending to cause harm to Black Lives Matter protestors.
Protests have been occurring in Kenosha, Wisconsin, since the beginning of the week over the shooting of another unarmed Black man at the hands of the police. According to CNN, Jacob Blake was breaking up a fight when the police showed up. A bystander filming the situation captured Blake walking back to his car when the police shot him seven times in the back.
Rittenhouse, who clearly had an illegal weapon on him, can be seen on viral videos walking openly in front of riot police. The 17 year old is from Antioch, Illinois, where the legal age to own a rifle and shotgun is 18 years old. Before he even crossed the state border into Wisconsin, Rittenhouse already broke the law by having it with him.
The Department of Natural Resources for Wisconsin states that a person must be 18 to possess or hunt with a firearm. There are a few age exceptions when it comes to hunting, but that’s beside the point as Rittenhouse intended on going to the protest instead of hunting grounds.
There’s footage of Rittenhouse being chased by protestors in attempt to strip him of his weapon, and he’s seen shooting at the individuals. The boy’s social media shows he was a part of a police cadet program, and is also a supporter of both Donald Trump and the “Blue Lives Matter” group.
Rittenhouse committed the crimes in Wisconsin but drove back to Illinois “with intent to avoid prosecution for that offense.” There’s also video footage of police officers acting thankful towards the shooter, as if he helped the situation.
Many compare this situation to Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy, who was shot by police because they suspected that his toy gun was a real one. Rittenhouse was seen shooting at people, with his illegally owned gun, and eventually walks toward the police without them trying to apprehend him in anyway.
Kyle Rittenhouse had no authority to carry his illegal weapon across state borders. He had to turn himself in, as opposed to the many Black Americans who have no chance to even show they’re not a threat. The actions of the police against protestors instead of individuals, like Rittenhouse who intend on causing fatal damage, only add to the reason behind the demonstrations across the country.