News Analysis Nov 22, 2021 6:38 PM EST

EXCLUSIVE: Drew Hernandez recounts the Rittenhouse trial, and the nights of rioting in Kenosha

"I don't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat, left, right, whatever it is, whoever is lying to you, does not respect you and wants to control you, period."

EXCLUSIVE: Drew Hernandez recounts the Rittenhouse trial, and the nights of rioting in Kenosha
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

Kyle Rittenhouse was exonerated on Friday in the shooting deaths of two men, and the injury of another, stemming from riots in Kenosha, Wisc. late in the summer of 2020. Rittenhouse was slandered, smeared, defamed, called a white supremacist domestic terrorist vigilante. Even after a jury of his peers cleared him of charges, and after much of what was said against him was proven false, much of mainstream media and Democrat politicians continued to uphold their false narrative and to spread lies about him.

Drew Hernandez testified at Rittenhouse's trial. He was on the ground in Kenosha that night, and had been there on the first night of rioting on Aug. 23, as well. An independent, investigative journalist, Hernandez saw what was happening first hand, and he turned over the 80-100 video recordings from the night of August 25 to the attorneys in the case.

Hernandez testified for the defense, but what he wanted to do was to make sure that the jury had the recordings in evidence so that they could deliberate with as many facts before them as possible. "I just wanted to make sure that the jury themselves not only had my eyewitness testimony under oath, but they had the full extent of all of the body cam footage that I possessed, it was literal evidence, so that they could see for themselves," he told The Post Millennial.

"There's so many narratives being spun out there that were not true, that were just simply not true. And I knew I have the truth and you know, people could call me bias that's fine but I have body cam footage and the footage itself is not biased so you can just watch it. And that was my intention to get this footage into the right hands," Hernandez said.

He was questioned by the state, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, about the videos, as they sought to discredit him as biased, but the footage speaks for itself. "I didn't withhold it from him," Hernandez said, "so he knew just exactly how credible I really was because I was an eyewitness that had tons of body cam footage to corroborate everything I claimed I saw under oath."

"I couldn't tell if Binger was an actual idiot or if he was trying to be an idiot just to confuse the jury. But I mean, it just speaks for itself. It did not go well for him," he said.

Hernandez was out covering riots much of the summer of 2020, and mainstream media was hardly there at all. "After George Floyd's death, the riots broke out right fires burning buildings looting vandalism, this was happening in Minneapolis and Portland, in California in New York. And immediately we saw we saw that the far left, the fake news media cartel, was attempting to spin it as if it wasn't as bad as it really was," he told The Post Millennial.

He wanted to see the truth for himself, he said. "They were trying to put this spin that it wasn't actually as bad as it really was. This bothered me as a citizen because it was propaganda. It was big. It was a lie they were trying to cover up for Black Lives Matter because it made them look bad and Antifa was being exposed." Hernandez wanted to expose it, and he did.

"My intention," he said, "was to just simply expose the truth."

Truth was not forthcoming from mainstream media outlets. One reporter from CNN stood in front of a burning building in Kenosha and declared the arsonist riots to be "fiery but mostly peaceful protests."

To see the mainstream media and legacy media outlets make claims that were directly contradicted by the visible truth unfolding before all of us... greatly to the massive distrust of these media sources and shows also why it's so important that independent journalists go out there and do this and cover this stuff.

Even during the trial, there was a lot of reporting from mainstream media outlets, CNN, MSNBC, all of these others were saying that Kyle Rittenhouse brought a gun to a Black Lives Matter protest as though he had just shown up with his weapon to terrorize activists. Hernandez said that there was nothing even remotely like a protest going on in Kenosha on Aug. 25.

He was in Chicago when he saw Twitter blowing up with reports out of Kenosha, and he took a $200 Uber from Chicago to Kenosha late that night. The reason for the late night pricey trip was because one of the first things he saw on Twitter were rioters hitting police officers with bricks.

"One of the first reports I saw," he said, "was that the rioters took a brick to a police officer's head knocking him unconscious. That's how it started. It was not peaceful in any way shape or form."

"When I showed up," Hernandez said, "the first thing that I reported on, the first thing that I saw was that the rioters had already lit dumpster trucks on fire."

"The second thing I saw were that the writers showed up they were the ones who showed up with rifles first load rifles first and a standoff with police officers in the middle of the street."

He interviewed people who had lost everything in the fires, and described the community prior to the night's rioting on Aug. 25 as one that was preparing for disaster. He said it was like a tornado was coming, people were boarding up their homes and businesses, and putting up signs that said "children live here." That's not something that happens when a community has peaceful protests.

Hernandez spoke about how ineffectual law enforcement was, as well. Rioters were setting fires, looting, staging mass mayhem, and officers essentially stayed out of the way.

"I don't have an answer as to why the police response was so weak. I just know that it was. I could understand why on night one it was, but night two, I don't have an answer as to why on night [on] three they were responding a little more aggressively. But all I could say is this is something that I've seen in Portland where police officers especially the riot squads, the riot response teams, they have their hands tied behind their backs. They can't actually use the proper training that they've received to actually go after rioters because the higher-ups tell them they paint this narrative. 'We don't want our officers seen attacking peaceful protesters.'"

He described the mobilization of Antifa in Kenosha, and he has the footage to back that up. Antifa, he said, is very well organized, and not an "idea," as President Joe Biden has described the.

"I want to give a warning to journalists," he said, "if you're going to try and cover Antifa and you think just wearing all black is going to get you a pass, be very careful because they're assigned positions, and you might be wearing all black but doing the wrong thing and you're gonna stick out like a sore thumb. They were doing this in Kenosha, I was there. I was watching them, they were mobilizing on the ground to go head to head with the police and to commit crimes. We were watching this. I was watching this."

As to Antifa, he said, "They have some pretty serious networks. They network very well. They have encrypted they use encrypted apps, but they even use Twitter you see them mobilize on Twitter. Even during the Rittenhouse trial, we saw some Antifa accounts in California that were attempting to dox the location of some of his lawyers practicing opposites."

As to the massive media spin that even resulted in international media outlets from Brazil to the UK to Singapore reporting that Rittenhouse had shot three black men, and not three white men with extensive criminal records, Hernandez said

"This is what the fake news media cartel does. They want to manipulate the minds of millions of people on the far left because they want to continue to control the minds of millions of people on the far left. That is the purpose of propaganda. And that is exactly what they do. This is a perfect example of that. This goes as far as then-candidate Joe Biden that was running for business last year where he literally used an image of Kyle Rittenhouse as a symbol of white supremacy as an attempt to smear Donald Trump, then-President Donald Trump himself. This is how far this propaganda goes literally up until that and this is what people see. They believe it, they receive it and then they end up actually solidifying these ideas in their minds and they don't even realize that Kyle Rittenhouse didn't shoot a single black person. He shot a convicted child rapist that was charging him from behind violently, in self-defense."

"What people don't understand," he said, "is they think it's some kind of far right-wing conspiracy theory just to tell the truth right now, or just to expose the far left, and people need to seriously wake up to this stuff because listen—I don't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat, left, right, whatever it is, whoever is lying to you, does not respect you and wants to control you, period."

One thing that came out at the trial as a result of Hernandez's testimony was that Rittenhouse, prior to the shootings, was engaged in helping quiet the turmoil out on the streets. "I watched Kyle Rittenhouse come out of that building, literally attempt to deescalate the situation, and was successful at doing so. And those were black people in that crowd that were getting physically confrontational or attempting to riot," he said. "I watched Kyle come out and de-escalate that situation. And it was a crowd of black people as well. I don't know what kind of white supremacist does that. I don't know what kind of active shooter that shows up to Kenosha to kill black people does that. I don't know."

The riots and civil unrest in the summer of 2020 resulted in absolute mayhem in hundreds of locations across the US. The city of Portland, Ore. saw riots lasting for more than 100 consecutive nights. Minneapolis, Kenosha, New York, Rochester, Louisville, and so many other cities saw looting, arson, and violence at the hands of activists who believed that any distress they caused to the community was no less than what that community deserved.

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