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Kyle Rittenhouse tells Fox News he is ‘not a racist person,’ backs BLM

Kenosha Protest Shootings
FILE – Kyle Rittenhouse looks back as attorneys argue about the charges that will be presented to the jury during proceedings at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., in this Nov. 12, 2021 file photo. Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool, file)

In an interview that is set to air Monday night, Kyle Rittenhouse will speak out for the first time since he was acquitted on charges stemming from killing two men and wounding another during protests that erupted after the killing of a Black man by a white police officer.

According to Fox News, in the new interview, Rittenhouse,18, says that he’s “not a racist person” and supports the Black Lives Matter movement. “This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense,” he tells Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Rittenhouse is white, as were the men he shot.

Rittenhouse was 17 last year when he traveled 20 miles from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where people were protesting after the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake. He was armed with an AR-style semiautomatic rifle, and he joined others who said they were intent on protecting private property from potential damage on Aug. 25.

During his trial, prosecutors argued that the teenager as a “wannabe soldier” who went looking for trouble that night. Rittenhouse countered that he fired in self-defense after he was attacked and in fear for his life.

The shootings quickly made Rittenhouse a rallying cry for supporters of Second Amendment rights and those angered by the sometimes violent protests seen in some American cities after Floyd’s death.

Rittenhouse was photographed in a bar before the trial with apparent members of the far-right Proud Boys. Rittenhouse’s attorneys have said he is not a white supremacist.

“I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement, I support peacefully demonstrating,” Rittenhouse tells Carlson in excerpts of the interview released by Fox News ahead of its airing.

A jury last Friday found Rittenhouse not guilty on charges of homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28.