A high-profile lawyer representing the 17-year-old shooter charged with killing two protesters and wounding another during demonstrations on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin said on Friday that his client had acted in self-defense.
Atlanta-based attorney Lin Wood said video footage of the altercation would vindicate Kyle Rittenhouse despite what he described as misinformation being spread by the media.
Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. Murder charges are factually unsupportable. An egregious miscarriage of justice is occurring with respect to this 17-year old boy, Wood said on Twitter.
Rittenhouse, who prosecutors say travelled 30 miles to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Illinois before the shooting at about 11.45pm on Tuesday, is charged with six criminal counts, including homicide and attempted homicide.
The criminal complaint accuses Rittenhouse of firing an assault-style rifle at three protesters who tried to subdue him, killing 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, 26.
It references several videos recorded by witnesses, including one in which Rittenhouse is seen calling a friend from the scene and telling them: I just killed somebody.
A Lake County, Illinois county judge on Friday postponed his extradition to Wisconsin while the teenage defendant arranged a private legal team. Rittenhouse, a former YMCA lifeguard who is being held without bond, did not appear at the live streamed hearing.
The shooting of Blake in front of three of his children has turned Kenosha, a predominantly white city of about 100,000 people on Lake Michigan, into the latest flashpoint in ongoing nationwide protests over police brutality and racism.
The summer of protests ignited after video footage showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of a Black man, George Floyd. Floyd later died and the since-fired officer has been charged with murder.
Blake, who was left paralyzed by the shooting, had been handcuffed to a hospital bed because of an outstanding arrest warrant. The handcuffs were removed on Friday and officers guarding Blake stood down after the warrant was vacated, his attorney, Pat Cafferty, said.