Kenosha shooter’s defense portrays him as ‘American patriot’

National

FILE – In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 file photo, Kyle Rittenhouse carries a weapon as he walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake. The way his lawyers tell it, the teenager wasn’t a scared, gun enthusiast in over his head when he fatally shot two protesters. He was a courageous defender of liberty, a patriot exercising his right to bear arms amid chaos in the streets. But some legal experts say Rittenhouse’s lawyers are taking big risks by turning a fairly straightforward self-defense case into a sweeping political argument that mirrors the law-and-order re-election campaign of President Donald Trump. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP)

Lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse have launched a social media campaign depicting the Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooter as not just a scared teenager acting in self-defense, but an American hero akin to the Minutemen who fought at the nation’s founding.

The dramatic rhetoric has helped raise nearly $2 million to pay for the 17-year-old’s defense against homicide charges in the killing of two protesters.

But some legal experts say there are risks in turning a fairly straightforward self-defense case into a sweeping political argument that could play into a stereotype that he is a gun-crazed militia member out to start a revolution.

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