The teenage gunman accused of fatally shooting two Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin once raised funds on Facebook to “humanize” police officers, according to past social media posts.
Kyle Rittenhouse — the 17-year-old “vigilante” charged Thursday with homicide — urged pals on the social media site in December 2018 to donate to the charity Humanizing the Badge for his 16th birthday, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
Using Facebook’s fundraiser feature, the teen wrote that the group seeks to “forge stronger relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.”
But the cop-boosting non-profit — which bills itself as an “organization seeking to show the human side of the men and women behind the badge” — said it didn’t have any “direct affiliation” with the accused killer.
“It is a mischaracterization of the Facebook fundraiser process to state that Rittenhouse ‘held a fundraiser’ for Humanizing the Badge, which has left some people with the impression that he has some direct affiliation with our organization because he does not,” the charity wrote on Facebook Thursday.
The teen’s post is one of several showing that he frequently praised law enforcement on social media, sometimes with references to #Blue Lives Matter. In other photos, he is shown holding an assault rifle.
Facebook this week began blocking searches for the teen’s page, according to the tech news site The Verge.
Rittenhouse claimed to be part of an armed militia group that sought to “protect” Kenosha residents and businesses from violent protests after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who is black, in the city Sunday.
He was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and other offenses on Thursday for allegedly gunning down Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, and Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake.
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