Perhaps Kyle Rittenhouse thought he would be protected by the same cops who gave him and his armed companions bottles of water while ordering protesters to get off the streets or get arrested Tuesday night in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
And perhaps he was right considering Kenosha police made no effort to arrest him even though he tried to turn himself in by walking up to them with his arms raised. The 17-year-old was not arrested until earlier today in Antioch, Illinois, which is about a 35-minute drive from Kenosha.
The aspiring cop is being charged with first degree intentional homicide, according to the New York Times. He shot two people to death and injured a third.
With a rifle strapped around his body, Rittenhouse was hanging out with a group of armed men described as a “militia” of “vigilantes,” by Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.
The men said they were “protecting” businesses from damage by protesters who have been demonstrating for three nights since the police shooting of Jacob Blake, torching several businesses. Rittenhouse even did an interview with the Daily Caller before the shooting, explaining his motivations.
But they ended up getting into arguments and tensions escalated. Witnesses say Rittenhouse shot a man in the head and ran away with several people chasing him. He then turned around and fires, killing the second man and leaving the third man with a bullet would to the arm.
He then tried to turn himself but cops drove right past him.
Earlier in the evening, the cops were expressing their gratitude towards the men with guns, including Rittenhouse.
“We appreciate you guys,” the cops said through a loudspeaker to the armed men after handing them water.
Sheriff Beth said his deputies would have handed out water to anybody who asks but the video shows they were doing it while ordering protesters off the street in violation of the curfew while giving the armed men a pass in a blatant example of selective enforcement.
And the sheriff still has not explained how a man who just shot two people to death could end up in another state after attempting to surrender.
Meanwhile, Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old man shot in the back seven times by Kenosha police, has been told he is paralyzed from the shooting.
And Kenosha police have not yet released the name of the cop who shot him after he broke up a fight between two women.
UPDATE: Kyle Rittenhouse admired police, according to the Chicago Tribune.
His Facebook page, which was deactivated Wednesday morning after his bond court appearance, pays repeated homage to law enforcement, including a picture of him holding a long-arm rifle and framed with the “Blue Lives Matter” logo. Several posts also honored officers who died in the line of duty, while another shows him wearing a T-shirt with the logo for a popular police apparel manufacturer and Crocs emblazoned with the American flag.
The young man also has a yearslong affiliation with local police cadet programs, with photographs on social media showing him in full uniform complete with a badge, arm patch and trooper-style campaign hat. The Grayslake, Lindenhurst, Hainesville Public Safety Cadet program had pictures of Rittenhouse participating in its activities on social media before its Facebook page also was taken down Wednesday.
The cop who killed Blake has been identified as Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department, according to WDIO.
Police also said that a knife was found on the driver side floorboard of Blake’s car.