US President Donald Trump visited riots-hit Kenosha on Tuesday to assess the situation and meet with the local law enforcement. On Monday, Trump justified the actions of the suspected 17-year-old shooter, who is charged with murder for the killing of two protestors against police brutality in Kenosha.
"He was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like. I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed," Trump said, noting the incident was under investigation.
Kyle Rittenhouse is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the shooting and killing of two protestors and injuring the third person. He is currently facing charges with a total of six criminal counts. The video footage of the incident, which took place on the third night of unrest following the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot by the police officers six times in the back.
A dangerous precedent
But Trump chose to weigh in on the topic with his own opinion, which hasn't sat well with many. The views on Kenosha killing are split - the Republicans looking at it the tragic way and the Democrats taking a dimmer view of the situation.
As the investigation into the matter is still underway, drawing conclusions isn't wise. But the circumstances, such as Rittenhouse being a resident of a neighbouring state and not Wisconsin, and the AR rifle he was carrying was likely illegal and in violation of Kenosha's curfew. The protestors who died only had a plastic bag and a skateboard, according to the videos from the scene and witnesses.
But Trump's defence sets a dangerous precedent for future possible-radical-protestors, who think they are immune to the law and order. It's as if encouraging vigilante behaviour during the violent riots. Trump also did not reveal any intentions to meet Blake's family, following the police shooting, showing his stance in the matter.
According to the Kenosha PD, a total of 175 people have been arrested as of Sunday afternoon. Of these, the police identified that 102 protestors had addresses from outside of Kenosha. The police said the arrests were from the people located in 44 cities. In addition, the cops also sized more than 20 firearms, and at least three vehicles were towed in relation to active criminal investigations.