Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I have some tea and it pertains to the civil unrest going on where an unarmed Black man was shot by the police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. To add fire to fury a white 17 year old shot and killed two protestors during protest in the city have sparked outrage.
Authorities, Wednesday said a 17 year old had been charged with homicide after two people were killed and another seriously wounded by gunfire amid a chaotic night of demonstrations and destruction in Kenosha unleashed by the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Police in Antioch, Illinois, 20 miles southwest of Kenosha, said they had arrested Kyle Rittenhouse in the killings. The Antioch resident was charged with first degree intentional homicide in Wisconsin, authorities said, but they did not specify whether he was being charged in one fatal shooting or both.
The shooting came as self declared militia members and armed counterprotesters have appeared in the city, which is reeling from days of unrest. Authorities have not said whether Rittenhouse is a member of any of the groups.
Rittenhouse’s social media feeds contained messages of him supporting the police and photos of himself with assault rifles. He had been a member of cadet programs for local police and fire departments, according to department newsletters and statements.
This lakeside Wisconsin city became the latest locus of anger over police brutality after Blake, a father of five, was shot by police on Sunday, a recorded incident that quickly went viral and prompted a nationwide outcry.
The streets of Kenosha have been filled with peaceful mass demonstrations in recent days, but also damaging riots by night in which businesses have been looted and burned. Armed civilians many wielding AR-15 style rifles took position near stores and businesses saying they intended to fill a vacuum left by a law enforcement. Some had stood near the gas station where Tuesday night’s shooting began with a confrontation just before midnight.
Cellphone video from before Tuesday night’s shooting showed police officers thanking armed civilians for being on the streets after curfew and handing them bottles of water. Officials said Wednesday that they could not comment in detail on the video.
According to a complaint filed in Lake County, Illinois by the Antioch police described Rittenhouse as a fugitive, saying that he had been charged with homicide in Wisconsin and fled “with the intent to avoid prosecution for that offense.” According to some statements made from a hearing on Wednesday, he was held without bond and a hearing on Friday will address his potential extradition to Wisconsin.
Kenosha District Attorney Michael D. Graveley said Wednesday evening that decisions about charging Rittenhouse would be finalized on Thursday. Authorities did not release the names of the shooting victims, but Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) expressed his condolences.
“My heart breaks for the families and loved ones of the two individuals who lost their lives and the individual who was injured last night in Kenosha,” Evers said in a statement. “We as a state are mourning this tragedy.”