For Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse, a Wisconsin judge has increased bail conditions, banning him from associating with white supremacists after being filmed at a Wisconsin bar being serenaded by white nationalist Proud Boys members.
Rittenhouse, who was wearing a T-shirt that read “Free as Fuck,” was also photographed flashing the “white power” OK sign.
The 18-year-old has been convicted of the fatal shooting of two unarmed protesters who were protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August. The teen, who killed the men with an assault-style rifle he brought to the protest, said he acted in self-defense.
In November, Rittenhouse was freed from jail on a $2 million bond. The money was raised from sympathetic extremist right-wing individuals and groups.
Prosecutors noted that surveillance video at the bar in Mt. Pleasant outside Milwaukee showed Rittenhouse drinking and flashing “white power” signs as he posed for photographs after he pleaded not guilty at his Jan. 5 arraignment. He was also being serenaded by a group of Proud Boys who were singing “Proud of Your Boy,” an “Aladdin” song co-opted by the gang as its anthem.
The drinking age in Wisconsin is 21, but Rittenhouse could legally drink at the bar because his mother accompanied him.
Wisconsin prosecutors warned in a court motion earlier this month demanding stricter bond requirements. They said the “defendant’s continued association with members of a group that prides itself on violence, and the use of their symbols, raises the significant possibility of future harm.” They added, “Further, this association may serve to intimidate potential witnesses, who may be unwilling to testify in this case because they may fear that the defendant’s associates with harming them or their families.”
On Friday, new restrictions were issued, forbidding Rittenhouse from possessing firearms, drinking alcohol, or “knowingly” having “contact with any person or group known to harm, threaten, harass or menace others on the basis of their race, beliefs on the subject of religion, color, national origin or gender.
Mark Richards, Rittenhouse’s attorney, criticized the prosecutors’ motion in a court filing as a “not-so-thinly veiled attempt to interject the issue of race into a case that is about a person’s right to self-defense.”
Richards claimed that when he killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, with an assault-style rifle that was illegal for Rittenhouse to possess in the state, the teen was acting in self-defense. Rittenhouse told police that during the demonstration that night, he was guarding a private company. The owner of the business said he had never asked anyone to protect his company.
After local police officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake when reacting to a domestic disturbance call, the Kenosha protests erupted. Earlier this month, a Wisconsin prosecutor declined to file charges against Sheskey again, claiming he could not disprove the officer’s assertion that he acted in self-defense.