“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,” the 18-year-old tells Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview set to air Monday night. 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, which had been racked with anti police protests that resulted in widespread property destruction.
Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-style semiautomatic rifle, joined others who said they were intent on protecting private property from potential damage on Aug. 25. During his trial, prosecutors tried to paint him 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. Evidence presented during the trial, including video and a witness put on the stand by the prosecution, backed Rittenhouse's claim.
“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.