A 17-year-old wannabe cop is suspected of shooting three people, two fatally, in Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday night, during a protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested in his home state of Illinois after traveling to Kenosha to play vigilante with other gun-toting Blue Lives Matter militiamen. Rittenhouse told Daily Caller reporters on the ground that he was there to protect local businesses. The city was in its third night of protests following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot seven times in the back by a white Kenosha police officer on Sunday. Blake survived and is now paralyzed from the waist down.
After a summer of protest demanding Black lives be valued, Blake’s shooting was salt on a gaping wound. But Rittenhouse and his fellow militiamen saw this as an opportunity to stand up for the real victims: Buildings and well-armed police officers.
“Part of my job is to also help people,” Rittenhouse told Daily Caller. “If there is somebody hurt I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself obviously. I also have my med kit.”
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But Rittenhouse didn’t appear to use that “med kit” after allegedly shooting one person in the head, another in the chest, and another in the arm. Multiple videos from spectators on the ground show someone matching Rittenhouse’s description running away from the scene while on his phone, saying, “I shot somebody.”
But what witnesses say happened next is puzzling. From Daily Beast:
With his rifle still on display, the suspected gunman appears to have his hands over his head as he approaches police in an apparent surrender.
“He had his hands up and they told him to get out of there, even though everyone was yelling that he was the shooter,” Brent Ford, a 24-year-old photographer who witnessed the shooting, told VICE News. “The police didn’t seem to hear or care what the crowd was saying.”
Asked at a Wednesday press briefing how the suspect was able to get away despite appearing to surrender, Kenosha Sheriff David Beth speculated that it was because the scene was chaotic. “There was screaming, hollering, chanting... In situations that are high stress you have such an incredible tunnel vision,” he said.
It’s unclear what happened to Rittenhouse in between his alleged surrender at the protest and his eventual arrest at home. It didn’t help that the police were allegedly quite friendly to Rittenhouse and his fellow Blue Lives Matter goons. There is a video circulating on Twitter of law enforcement in armored trucks handing out water to the vigilantes, telling them that they, “appreciate them being here.” The video also shows a man who resembles Rittenhouse making small talk with the officers.
Police validation of armed militia helped spur this fatal incident. But instead of owning up to mistakes made, the Kenosha Police Department doubled down on the bullshit. During Wednesday’s press conference, Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis blamed protesters breaking curfew and failed to accurately describe Rittenhouse’s actions in a way that made a lick of sense.
Check out this passive voice:
Persons who were out after the curfew became engaged in some type of disturbance, and persons were shot. Everybody involved was out after the curfew. I’m not going to make a great deal of that, but the point is the curfew is in place to protect. Had persons not been out involved in violation of that, perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have happened. So, last night, a 17-year-old individual from Antioch, Illinois, was involved in the use of firearms to resolve whatever conflict was in place. The result of it is two people... are dead.
Meanwhile, President Trump is sending federal law enforcement to Kenosha. What could go wrong?
Jack Brewer, a former NFL player turned Black Voices For Trump shill, was slotted to speak at Wednesday night’s Republican National Convention... until a few hours ago, it seems.
On Wednesday morning, NPR reported that Brewer was charged with insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month. While the charges are civil, not criminal, one has to wonder how this embarrassing faux pas slipped the Republicans’ screening process for potential speakers.
Reached briefly by phone on Tuesday, Brewer said, “I’m taking off for my flight” and hung up after NPR asked about the case. He did not respond to additional phone and email messages seeking comment.
Brewer has become a prominent supporter of President Trump’s reelection, making frequent appearances on Fox News and tweeting that “Trump has done more for blacks than any [President] since Lincoln.” At a White House event in February, Brewer called Trump, “the first Black President.”
Representatives of the Trump campaign also did not respond to multiple messages from NPR.
A spokesperson for the SEC declined to comment.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brewer is no longer on the updated list of RNC speakers. This is the second RNC speaker removed at the last minute: On Tuesday, Mary Ann Mendoza got the boot after anti-Semitic QAnon conspiracy theory tweets were unearthed. Maybe the RNC needs to, uh, fine-tune their screening process.
- The Milwaukee Bucks basketball team refused to play Wednesday in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting. [NBC News]
- The Trump administration has pressured the CDC to update and loosen its covid-19 guidelines, a move that is sure to backfire. [CNN]
- And because shit just can’t let up for one goddamn second, a very dangerous hurricane is set to make landfall in the Gulf Coast Wednesday night:
- Sen. Ed Markey seems to be polling pretty well against Rep. Joe Kennedy: