'Free Kyle' Rittenhouse Fundraising T-Shirts Removed From Shopify

A business has said it has been banned by Shopify from selling a T-shirt of Kenosha double murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse, the proceeds of which went towards the 18-year-old's defense fund.

Seth Weathers, founder and owner of BringAmmo.com, said he received an email from Shopify, an e-commerce platform that lets individuals and small businesses sell their products online, saying the "Free Kyle" has been removed from sale on January 14.

"We have recently been made aware that certain products on your shop, bring-ammo.myshopify.com, are in violation of Shopify's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The below products have been removed and cannot be reposted," Shopify told Weathers in an email, reported Fox Business.

Shopify's AUP prohibits a number of items and services which prevent their mission to "make commerce better for everyone." These include hateful content, items that promote illegal activity, or the support and funding of terrorist organizations.

Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and injuring one other during the Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.

His defense team said the suspect, aged 17 at the time, acted in self-defense during the shootings and traveled from his hometown in Antioch, Illinois, to protect the city from the protesters and provide medical care to those injured in the unrest.

Speaking to Fox Business, Weathers accused Shopify of engaging in anti-conservative bias by removing the T-shirts from sale.

"To me, it's a scary precedent and just shows where everything's going with Big Tech," Weathers said. "With a company pushing conservative products ... and can be anti-establishment at times ... it's already a bit of a rough road."

The $24.95 "Free Kyle" T-shirt showing Rittenhouse holding a rifle on the night of the Kenosha shooting had been available for months before it was removed by Shopify. Big Ammo, which describes itself as "aggressively patriotic and pro 2nd Amendment," donated $5 of every sale to Rittenhouse's defense fund.

Weathers notes that Shopify has not removed other items, including one showing support for Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the married couple facing criminal charges for pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters as they marched past their home in St. Louis, Missouri in June 2020.

"We're assuming they're making the point we can't sell anything related to raising money for [Rittenhouse]," Weathers said. "Again, they did this without discussion and there is nothing in the Terms of Service that would be a violation unless they are making assumptions about Rittenhouse's guilt."

Rittenhouse was previously freed on bail following a successful $2m fundraising effort by his lawyers.

In a tweet, Weathers added: "Many people have no idea how bad Big Tech censorship has become in the last month... it's only getting worse."

Shopify has been contacted for comment.

Rittenhouse is accused of two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. He denies the allegations against him.

Rittenhouse is expected to appear in court on March 10 to face the charges.

Kyle Rittenhouse
A man wears a shirt calling for freedom for Kyle Rittenhouse, the man who allegedly shot protesters in Wisconsin, during a Donald Trump Campaign Rally, the day after the end of the Republican National Convention, at Manchester airport in Londonderry, New Hampshire on August 28, 2020. A business has said it has been banned by Shopify from selling a "Free Kyle" T-shirt online. JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty