The 17-year-old charged with homicide over the killing of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night was in the front row of a Donald Trump rally in January, BuzzFeed News has learned.
The suspect, Kyle Rittenhouse, has been described as an "aspiring cop" and Insider reports that he "idolized the police, guns, and the Blue Lives Matter movement." The teenager, who lived over the border in Illinois, was apparently in Kenosha as part of a self-described militia opposing protesters who were demonstrating against the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
President Trump has dismissed Black Lives Matter protesters in the past, calling them "THUGS" and threatening "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Twitter subsequently added a note to that tweet, clarifying that it violated the website's rules about "glorifying violence."
BuzzFeed News writes that "[f]ootage from [Trump's] Des Moines, Iowa, rally on Jan. 30 shows Rittenhouse feet away from the president, in the front row, to the left of the podium. He posted a TikTok video from the event. Seven months later, Rittenhouse went with his rifle to the third night of Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha [...]." Read more at BuzzFeed News.