Prosecution to Highlight Kyle Rittenhouse's Alleged Connection to Proud Boys, Motion Shows

Prosecutors in Wisconsin submitted a motion Thursday in Kenosha County Circuit Court seeking to allow evidence showing Kyle Rittenhouse has a previous violent encounter and was associated with the far-right Proud Boys.

The-18-year-old Rittenhouse is charged with killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, on Aug. 25, 2020, during protests in Kenosha over the police shooting two days earlier of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was left paralyzed when he was shot by a white police officer

They also hope to present photos from January showing Rittenhouse gesturing an apparent white power symbol while drinking in a bar. Prosecutors said in the motion they have become aware that Rittenhouse was with a group in the bar that included the leader of the Wisconsin Proud Boys chapter and its highest-ranking members.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Free Kyle
A man wears a shirt that says "Free Kyle," referencing Kyle Rittenhouse, during a rally for former President Donald Trump at the Bemidji Regional Airport on Sept. 18, 2020 in Bemidji, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Prosecutors want to introduce a video from July 1, 2020, which they say shows Rittenhouse striking a teenage girl in the back at Kenosha's lakefront.

"In both the July 1, 2020 incident and the Aug. 25, 2020 incident, the defendant, an Illinois resident, willingly and intentionally put himself in violent situations in Wisconsin that do not involve him in order to commit further acts of violence," the motion states.

Prosecutors allege Rittenhouse, who is white, left his home in Antioch, Illinois, and traveled to Kenosha to answer a call for paramilitary groups to protect businesses during the protest.

Rittenhouse faces multiple charges, including two homicide counts. He has argued he fired in self-defense after protesters attacked him.

Black Lives Matter supporters have painted him as a trigger-happy white supremacist, but some conservatives see him as a symbol for gun rights and have rallied around him, generating $2 million for his bail in November.

Rittenhouse's defense attorney did not immediately respond to a message and email seeking comment on prosecutors' latest motion.

Rittenhouse's trial is scheduled to start Nov. 1.

BLM
A woman holds a Black Lives Matter flag as community members march, June 6 in Minneapolis, for Winston Boogie Smith Jr., who was fatally shot by members of a U.S. Marshals task force several days earlier. Christian Monterrosa/AP Photo