Illinois' largest second amendment social media group has announced their support for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who killed two and injured another in an alleged act of self-defense during riots in Kenosha, Washington.
Illinois Gun Owners Together (IGOT) founder said in a statement released Thursday that he believed in Rittenhouse's right to self-defence, with the group also denouncing the Kenosha County Public Defender for Rittenhouse's arrest and prosecuting.
"IGOT denounces the Kenosha County Public Defender for arresting and prosecuting Kyle for his right to self-defence while being attacked by a felonious sex offender out on bond for a domestic battery accusation, while taking no action against his surviving aggressor, an armed offender with previous firearms charge," the statement reads.
Frank Tripoli, a moderator at IGOT, said: “We are all saddened for the loss of life. We are doing further injustice by charging Kyle with murder in a clear-cut self-defence situation.”
Support for Rittenhouse extends beyond IGOT, with attorney John Pierce calling Rittenhouse's shooting "100 percent self-defence."
IGOT plans to "peacefully gather and protest [Rittenhouse's] arrest and detention pending trial" in front of the Robert W. Depke Juvenile Complex Centre where he is being held.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, September 5 from 11 am to 2 pm. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to drive by and honk their horns.
Rittenhouse arrested, charged with murder
Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with following the intense incident, including charges of first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, and a misdemeanour charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.
Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Illinois native was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and carrying a med-kit, was seen early in the night and captured on film by Kristan T Harris, producer and co-owner of “The Rundown Live”, an online news stream.
Rittenhouse was then interviewed by Richie McGinniss, a video editor at Daily Caller. While standing in front of a burnt down, boarded up business, Rittenhouse told Richie that his job was “to protect this business” and “help people if there’s someone hurt.”
Establishment media outlets have suggested the incidents may have been race-related but the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which tracks extremist activity, told CBS News that they found "no indication from Rittenhouse's social media footprint that he is connected to any extremist movements."