New Video Shows Rittenhouse & Mother Focused On Social Media Reaction After Killings
Newly released police video shows that Kyle Rittenhouse and his mother, Wendy, were focused on the social media reaction to his alleged killing of two people and wounding of a third in Kenosha, Wisc., last August. Four hours of footage recorded in an interrogation room at the Antioch, Ill., police station, the far north suburban department where Rittenhouse turned himself in following the shootings was turned over to the Chicago Tribune as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request.
Rittenhouse was 17 at the time he is seen on video shooting and killing 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber during protests that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse, who has since turned 18, also wounded another 26-year-old man, Gaige Grosskreutz. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In the video Rittenhouse sobs, hyperventilates and bemoans his fate on the night he turned himself in. It presents a far different image of the alleged killer who subsequently has been publicly celebrated by far-right groups and gun rights activists whose crowd-funding efforts raised the money for his $2 million cash bail.
Police left him in the interrogation room with his mother, who spent several hours scrolling through her phone. At one point she put her head in her hands and lamented about people posting derogatory remarks about both of them on Facebook. She told him he needed to deactivate his social media accounts.
“I have to get rid of social media?” he asked. “Yep … ‘Cause they’re going to harass you if they can find you anywhere,” she said. At no point was there any discussion between the two about the condition of the men he shot at point blank range with his AR-15-style rifle.
After asking for a lawyer, Rittenhouse asked police to delete his social media accounts.
“Can you guys delete my social media accounts?” Rittenhouse says in the video, as his mother sobs beside him. “Like after you guys get your warrant to go through all my sh**? Can you make sure everything like my social media is deleted?”
Rittenhouse remains free on bail while awaiting trial as an adult. He found his way back into the headlines two weeks ago after pictures surfaced of him in a Wisconsin bar wearing a T-shirt with the phrase “Free as F***” while flashing a hand sign that has been appropriated by white supremacist groups. Last week a Kenosha County judge modified his bail release conditions, directing that he not associate with known white supremacists. He also prohibited Rittenhouse from possessing and consuming alcohol and from having firearms while awaiting trial. His next court date is March 10.