Court records show Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, faces a first-degree intentional homicide charge in Kenosha County after shooting demonstrators protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Based on Wisconsin law, Rittenhouse would be charged as an adult.
On "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Wednesday, the talk show host appeared to justify Rittenhouse's actions, saying it's understandable given violence and chaos in the city.
"We do know why it happened, though. Kenosha devolved into anarchy because the authorities abandoned the people," Carlson said. "Those in charge, from the governor on down, refused to enforce the law. They’ve stood back and watched Kenosha burn. Are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder?"
Kyle Rittenhouse: 17-year-old charged in Kenosha protest shootings, considered himself militia, social media posts show
Carlson aired graphic social media footage that appeared to portray the incident involving Rittenhouse. He painted the teen as a victim who "tried to run from the mob," adding that Rittenhouse's actions may qualify as "self defense."
"How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?" Carlson said.
Kenosha devolved into anarchy because the authorities abandoned the people. Those in charge, from the governor on down, refused to enforce the law. They’ve stood back and watched Kenosha burn. Are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? pic.twitter.com/oul2KUiDi3— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 27, 2020
Carlson's remarks were instantly condemned across social media.
Earlier Wednesday, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, part of the USA TODAY Network, that one victim had been shot in the head and another in the chest late Tuesday, just before midnight. Beth didn’t know where the other person was shot, but video posted on social media showed someone had been shot in the arm.
Rittenhouse thought of himself as a militia member trying to protect life and property, according to videos, interviews and social media posts.