Moderate Democrat and former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard blamed the police and local government of Kenosha, Wisconsin, for not protecting citizens on the night Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly shot two rioters in self-defense.
In a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, the former congresswoman indicated that Rittenhouse should probably not have been prosecuted.
“The prosecutor in the Rittenhouse trial clearly didn’t do due diligence before making the decision to prosecute,” said Gabbard. “This tragedy never would have happened if the government carried out its responsibilities to protect the safety, lives and property of innocent people.”
The prosecutor in the Rittenhouse trial clearly didn’t do due diligence before making the decision to prosecute. This tragedy never would have happened if the government carried out its responsibilities to protect the safety, lives and property of innocent people. pic.twitter.com/BFEOyRbvcj
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) November 11, 2021
The then-17-year-old Rittenhouse traveled up from Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the riots over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, hoping to aid a local business owner in defending his car dealership that suffered $1.5 million in damages. Conservative commentators have noted that the tragic shooting would not have occurred if police had done more to protect people’s property. Opponents of Kyle Rittenhouse have claimed that police essentially deputized citizens to become vigilantes on the night of August 25.
A lawsuit filed by the father of Anthony Huber, one of the two people killed by Rittenhouse said:
Defendants’ open support of and coordination with the armed individuals in the minutes and hours before the shootings deprived Anthony Huber and the other protestors of the basic protections typically provided by police. It was a license for the armed individuals to wreak havoc and inflict injury,”
“Defendants deputized these armed individuals, conspired with them, and ratified their actions by letting them patrol the streets, armed with deadly weapons, to mete out justice as they saw fit,” it added.
Kyle Rittenhouse took the stand to testify in his defense on Wednesday, a nearly unprecedented move in a murder trial, where he broke down into uncontrollable tears as he recalled the events of August 25.
Several witnesses have testified that Rittenhouse fired his gun only after being pursued, with one prosecution witness admitting that Rittenhouse shot him only after he had pointed a gun at the minor.