As the Kyle Rittenhouse trial goes into closing arguments today, a sitting Democratic congresswoman has said Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother should have faced trial for “child endangerment” for allegedly transporting her armed son over state lines with an “automatic weapon.” The congresswoman also told CNN that the arson and looting that took place before the shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August 25 “were reminiscent of the civil rights movement.”
On Sunday’s “State of the Union” episode, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) described Kyle Rittenhouse as “a 17-year-old boy who was driven by his mother across state lines with an automatic weapon. Frankly, she should have been detained for child endangerment.”
Nearly every word of that is incorrect: Police in Antioch, Illinois, said the rifle Rittenhouse used “was purchased, stored and used in Wisconsin” and never crossed state lines. Rittenhouse — who worked as a lifeguard in Kenosha, where his father lived — borrowed the weapon from a 19-year-old friend named Dominick Black, whom police have charged with two counts of giving a dangerous weapon to someone under 18 resulting in death. And the AR-15, which the NRA calls “the most popular rifle in America,” is a semi-automatic rifle; it is usually illegal for private citizens to own automatic weapons.
News anchor Jake Tapper later asked Rep. Bass why she believes the Rittenhouse trial is, in her words, “based in race.”
“Kyle Rittenhouse is a white man who’s accused of shooting three other white men and killing two of them. Explain how you think there’s a racial dimension to this case,” Tapper asked.
Bass replied that she considered the white-on-white violence as racially discriminatory because the shootings took place “at a protest protesting in solidarity for black folks.”
“To me, it was reminiscent of the civil rights movement, when you had young white people that participated in the sit-ins and the protests, and they were subject to beatings. They were subjects to shootings. Many of them were killed, as well. And it’s as though the judge is taking that very lightly,” Bass continued. “The majority of the people that were protesting were African-American, but the white men that were killed were protesting in solidarity with the black people. So, it reminded me of the civil rights movement.”
The shootings took place during unrest over an officer-involved wounding of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, who had a knife in his possession when he was shot. He also had a warrant out for his arrest on charges of third-degree sexual assault, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct. The resultant arson and looting, which CNN infamously described as “fiery but mostly peaceful protests,” caused more than $2 million to city property alone. During the civil rights era, the aggressors often set black churches ablaze.
Rittenhouse, who is now 18 years old and suffering from PTSD, according to his attorney, has presented evidence that he acted in self-defense. On November 3, previously unseen FBI footage appeared to show that the late Joseph Rosenbaum hid between cars before chasing Rittenhouse down the street. The teen had yelled, “Friendly! Friendly! Friendly.” Daily Caller reporter Richard McGinnis later testified that Rosenbaum said, “F*** you” to a prone Rittenhouse and reached for the teenager’s AR-15. Additionally, Rittenhouse’s attorney got the survivor of the shootings, Gaige Grosskreutz, to admit under oath that “it wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun pointed at him, that [Kyle Rittenhouse] fired” at him.