Alex Newhouse, deputy director of the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC), says the not guilty verdicts of Kyle Rittenhouse could energize far right extremists who view him as a hero. Rittenhouse was on trial for shooting two people to death and injuring a third during an August 2020 street protest against police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In a video interview, Newhouse says that Rittenhouse has become something of a model to extremist groups. “In the minds of people who are celebrating him, they see something different in what Rittenhouse did,” says Newhouse. “They see someone who was not only young, but someone who was willing to go out and walk the streets and take action.”
“So many hopes and dreams of revolution among extremists have been pinned on him,” says Newhouse. “He’s become far larger than life. He’s become this central hero for killing two people on the streets. Even though he was acquitted, everyone agreed that he did kill those people.”
Watch the full interview here: