Pam Bondi Says Kyle Rittenhouse Crossed State Lines 'to Protect His Community'

Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has defended 17-year-old Illinois double murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse as a "little boy" who was merely "trying to protect his community" during the shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin last month.

Bondi appeared on Sean Hannity's Fox News show to discuss new video footage released by Rittenhouse's attorney which paints the suspect in a favorable light and suggests his actions were justified in the "war zone" which had broken out in Kenosha in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

"You have got a 17-year-old out there trying to protect his state," Bondi said, despite the fact the teenager traveled from his hometown in Antioch, Illinois, to attend the protests on August 25.

"He is helping people who have been injured. He has paramedic training from being a lifeguard. He is taking graffiti off walls. He is trying to mitigate the chaos out there."

In a statement provided to Newsweek, Bondi clarifed she meant that Rittenhouse was "defending a nearby city" and not his home state or community.

During the 11-minute footage, Rittenhouse is seen trying to extinguish a fire which had been started by one of his victims, 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum.

After shooting Rosenbaum following a chase in which another person fires a gun, Rittenhouse is recorded running away from a crowd of angry protesters.

In one cellphone footage, one man can be heard yelling "cranium that boy, he just shot a man!"

The video states that "cranium" is street slang, and is a call for someone to shoot him in the head.

After he falls to the ground during the chase and is allegedly hit with a skateboard by Anthony Huber, Rittenhouse fires and hits Huber, 26, in the chest, who later died from his injuries.

Rittenhouse also shoots third victim Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, who was in possession of a handgun, in the arm while on the ground.

During the clip, the criminal convictions of all three of Rittenhouse's shooting victims are displayed on screen.

Rittenhouse is also praised for his "remarkable judgment" for not firing at a fourth protester who has his hands up "in surrender" after Huber and Grosskreutz are shot.

Pam Bondi calls Kyle Rittenhouse "a little boy out there trying to protect his community."

— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) September 23, 2020

Speaking to Hannity, Bondi said the newly released footage "speaks volumes" and suggests that authorities were too quick in charging Rittenhouse with murder as he was acting in self-defense.

"They're chasing him down," Bondi said. "Whether or not he should be charged with any of it, I think it's too soon to charge him. We don't even know the ballistics. They charged him two days later and there were bullets flying everywhere.

"This kid was out there trying to help people. Were people killed? Absolutely," Bondi added. "But again, we don't know yet. You've got a little boy out there trying to protect his community.

"Should he have been out there with a gun? No. But should he have been charged with murder? We just don't know yet. They charged him two days later.

"You know, it's a war zone out there. What's it coming to in these liberal cities, when teenagers have to go out to provide aid to other people who are getting injured by these rioters?"

Rittenhouse is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.

He is also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by someone under the age of 18 after taking the Smith & Wesson AR-15 style rifle across states into Kenosha.

Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi speaks during the second day of the Republican convention at the Mellon auditorium on August 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. Bondi has defended 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse as both a “little boy” who was trying to protect his state during an appearance on Fox News.