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Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen charged with killing two protesters in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake, has been released from jail after posting $2 million bail.
The 17-year-old, from Illinois, was released from Kenosha County Jail in Wisconsin on Friday, November 20.
Rittenhouse is facing two felony charges for intentional homicide in the murders of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, as well as attempted homicide for injuring 26-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz, during an August 25 protest sparked by Blake’s shooting.
Kenosha County Jail and Court Commissioner Loren Keating had earlier set such a high bond because the teen was considered a flight risk should he get out, BBC News reports. He’s also facing charges for reckless endangerment and being a minor in possession of a firearm.
The shooting of Jacob Blake attracted worldwide attention. The 29-year-old was shot seven times by a police officer as he tried to get into a car, which also had three children inside.
Rittenhouse volunteered to help protect a local business amid the subsequent protests, travelling from Illinois to Kenosha with his rifle. He’d used his first ‘unemployment check’ to buy his gun, according to an interview with The Washington Post.
One of the teen’s lawyers, Mark Richards, said there’s ‘overwhelming’ evidence Rittenhouse acted in self-defence.
Rittenhouse also told the publication, ‘I was going into a place where people had guns and god forbid somebody brought a gun to me and decided to shoot me. Like, I wanted to be protected, which I ended up having to protect myself.’
John Huber, father of Anthony, said at a bail hearing, ‘He was an active shooter, and my son tried to stop him. My son was a hero… and anyone else who says something else, they are dead wrong,’ Forbes reports.
Another of his lawyers, Lin Wood, tweeted: ‘KYLE RITTENHOUSE IS OUT OF JAIL. God bless ALL who donated to help #FightBack raise required $2M cash bail… Kyle is SAFE. Thanks to ALL who helped this boy.’
Rittenhouse’s charges have been polarising across the world, with conservatives, gun supporters and far-right activists rallying around the case in his aid.
Wood wrote in another tweet: ‘Kyle Rittenhouse is 17 years old. Since August 25, he has been a political prisoner. All Kyle did was try to help others and defend himself when attacked. We The People did not let him down.’
Rosenbaum was a homeless man who’d been discharged from a psychiatric hospital on the day of the protest. His fiancée Kariann Swart said, ‘I don’t think there’s any sort of self-defense when there’s an unarmed person in front of you, and you’re holding an assault rifle two feet away. But yet on the other hand, you know, Joe, you shouldn’t have been down there.’
Rittenhouse is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on December 3.
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