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Kenosha accused shooter’s defense portrays him as ‘American patriot’

So far, nearly $2 million has been raised to pay for the 17-year-old’s defense

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, with another armed civilian. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP)
Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, with another armed civilian. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

KENOSHA, Wisc. – Lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse have launched a social media campaign depicting the Kenosha, Wisconsin, accused shooter as not just a scared teenager acting in self-defense, but an American hero akin to the Minutemen who fought at the nation’s founding.

The dramatic rhetoric has helped raise nearly $2 million to pay for the 17-year-old’s defense against homicide charges in the killing of two protesters.

But some legal experts say there are risks in turning a fairly straightforward self-defense case into a sweeping political argument that could play into a stereotype that he is a gun-crazed militia member out to start a revolution.