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

National

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., with another armed civilian. A Republican student group at Arizona State University is receiving backlash for donating money to Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old gunman who allegedly fatally shot two protesters in Wisconsin. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP, File)

(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.

The Fight Back Foundation released a video this week analyzing Rittenhouse’s movements throughout the evening that lead to a Rittenhouse shooting three men, killing two of them.

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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