On Friday, a legal team at Pierce Bainbridge defending 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse released a lengthy statement in defense of their client, who was charged with first-degree murder on Wednesday.
Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, was allegedly involved in a two-part shooting on Tuesday night that left two dead and one injured during far-left rioting and chaos in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The statement emphasized that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense against repeated attacks from a “potentially deadly mob,” and was failed by local and state politicians who allowed the chaos and destruction to overtake Kenosha following the shooting of Jacob Blake.
“Pierce Bainbridge is honored to represent 17-year-old Antioch, Illinois, resident Kyle Rittenhouse, who has suddenly found himself at the center of a national firestorm and charged with murder after defending himself from a relentless, vicious and potentially deadly mob attack in Kenosha, Wisconsin,” the statement starts.
The law firm claims that earlier in the day, their client cleaned up graffiti from rioters after having finished a shift as a lifeguard in Kenosha. Rittenhouse later “received information about a call for help from a local” car dealership owner who allegedly needed protection for his properties, apparently “including two nearby mechanic’s shops,” from rioters and looters. The teen and a friend armed themselves and went to help, the statement says, noting that their weapons were in Wisconsin and “never crossed state lines.”
Describing the events of the incident, the statement says Rittenhouse was on his way to a mechanic’s shop when multiple rioters accosted him, recognizing him as one of the people trying to protect the shops in the area. The teen tried to flee as he was chased by the “mob,” and “[u]pon the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with an attacker lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking the attacker.”
“In fear for his life and concerned the crowd would either continue to shoot at him or even use his own weapon against him, Kyle had no choice but to fire multiple rounds towards his immediate attackers, striking two, including one armed attacker,” the law firm adds.
Rittenhouse, the defense team outlines, was failed by those in power that left the rioting unchecked.
“A 17-year old child should not have to take up arms in America to protect life and property. That is the job of state and local governments. However, those governments have failed, and law-abiding citizens have no choice but to protect their own communities as their forefathers did at Lexington and Concord in 1775,” the statement says.
“Kyle is not a racist or a white supremacist,” the legal team continues. “He is a brave, patriotic, compassionate law-abiding American who loves his country and his community. He did nothing wrong. He defended himself, which is a fundamental right of all Americans given by God and protected by law. He is now in the crosshairs of institutional forces that are much more powerful than him. But he will stand up to them and fight not only for himself, but for all Americans and their beloved Constitution. We will never leave his side until he is victorious in that fight.”
Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal team has released a full statement of his defense. pic.twitter.com/NJoSVfp4Io
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 29, 2020
Related: NYT Reporter Posts Video Breakdown Of Kenosha Shooting Showing ‘Multiple Gunmen’