Kyle Rittenhouse—Seen At Pub Wearing ‘Free As F–k’ Shirt—Should Not Be Allowed To Visit Bars, Prosecutors Say

 Kyle Rittenhouse—Seen At Pub Wearing ‘Free As F–k’ Shirt—Should Not Be Allowed To Visit Bars, Prosecutors Say

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Topline

Wisconsin prosecutors are asking a judge to tighten restrictions on Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old facing multiple felony counts for fatally shooting two people and killing a third amid summer unrest in Kenosha, after he was seen at a Wisconsin bar last week. 

Police Shooting Wisconsin Kenosha

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, appears with his attorney, Mark Richards in Richards office in Racine, Wis., … [+] during a hearing at Kenosha County Court in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Key Facts

Rittenhouse, who was released from jail on Nov. 2 after actor Ricky Schroder helped pay his $2 million bond, was spotted at a bar in southeastern Wisconsin with his mother and several other adults on Jan. 5, the day of his arraignment, when he pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Prosecutors in their complaint allege that Rittenhouse posed for a photo outside Pudgy’s Pub with two men who made “OK” signs with their hands, which has been adopted by white supremacists as a symbol

The motion also says that Rittenhouse was serenaded by five men at the bar with “Proud of Your Boy,” the anthem of the Proud Boys, an alt-right group whose members were among those who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week. 

The prosecutors are asking a judge to ban Rittenhouse from “publicly displaying symbols and gestures that are associated with violent white supremacist groups and from associating with known members of these groups, particularly the Proud Boys,” and to prevent him from drinking or going to bars while he is free.

According to Wisconsin law, anyone under the age of 21 can be sold or served alcohol if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who is of legal drinking age. 

Rittenhouse’s lawyers Mark Richards and John Pierce could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Crucial Quote 

“The consumption of alcohol increases the likelihood of violent criminal acts,” argued the prosecutors. 

Surprising Fact 

Social media users were quick to highlight Rittenhouse’s apparel—a shirt emblazoned with the words “Free as F—k”—after photos of his bar visit were circulated. 

Key Background 

Rittenhouse’s case has become a rallying point among conservatives who believe that the teenager acted in self defense when he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz with an assault-style rifle on Aug. 25. Rittenhouse claims that he was in Kenosha protecting small businesses from the Black Lives Matter protests and riots sparked by the non-fatal police shooting of Jacob Blake a few days prior. Lawyers for two of the victims filed $20 million in damages claims against the city and county of Kenosha, arguing that law enforcement could’ve done more to prevent the protests from devolving into deadly violence. 

Chief Critic

“We’re basically looking to sue different actors within the city of Kenosha as well as the city of Kenosha itself who we believe were negligent in their allowing of Mr. Rittenhouse to indiscriminately run around during the week and protest with a loaded weapon,” Kimberly Motley, the attorney for the surviving shooting victim, Gaige Grosskreutz, told WTMJ-TV.

Further Reading 

“Kyle Rittenhouse Pleads Not Guilty To All Counts In Kenosha Killings” (Forbes)