FACT CHECK: Did Kyle Rittenhouse’s Mother Drive Him To The Kenosha Protest While He Was Armed With A Rifle?
An image shared on Twitter over 17,000 times claims Wendy Rittenhouse drove her son, Kyle Rittenhouse, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, in late August 2020 while he was armed with a rifle.
Great question! Anyone? pic.twitter.com/emzjWKtdRX
— 🖕🏻Aunt Crabby Calls Bullshit 🖕🏻 (@DearAuntCrabby) November 10, 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse testified that he drove to Kenosha on Aug. 24, 2020, and he and friend Dominick Black testified that they traveled to the Aug. 25 protest last year together. Wendy Rittenhouse has said she did not know where her son was on Aug. 25, 2020. The rifle was “purchased, stored and used in Wisconsin,” according to a statement from the Lake County, Illinois, State’s Attorney’s Office.
Kyle Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, has been charged with fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz during an Aug. 25, 2020, protest in Kenosha, the Associated Press reported. He was 17 at the time of the protest, which was sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Kyle Rittenhouse claims he opened fire in self-defense, according to ABC News.
Ahead of the jury on Thursday entering its third day of deliberations, a viral image targeting Wendy Rittenhouse has continued to go viral on social media: “Why are we just glazing over the fact that Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother put her minor child in a vehicle, drove him across state lines and dropped him off in the middle of a riot armed with an assault rifle?” reads the meme. “Why is she not behind bars?”
The claim, however, doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Wendy Rittenhouse, the mother of Kyle Rittenhouse, told the Chicago Tribune in November 2020 that she did not know where her son was on Aug. 25 of last year. (RELATED: Have All Charges Against Kyle Rittenhouse Been Dropped?)
According to court testimony, Kyle Rittenhouse slept over at the house of Black’s stepfather on Aug. 24, 2020, after having driven himself to Kenosha from Antioch earlier that day. During the day on Aug. 25, 2020, he, one of his sisters, Black and another person went to downtown Kenosha, where they “walked around for a little bit” and cleaned graffiti off a school, according to Kyle Rittenhouse’s testimony. Kyle Rittenhouse also testified that he and Black returned downtown later that evening after having spent some time at Black’s stepfather’s house, which is where Kyle Rittenhouse’s rifle was stored.
The timeline of events described by Black when he took the stand Nov. 2 to testify was similar to Kyle Rittenhouse’s, according to trial footage. Back in May 2020, Black used money given to him by Kyle Rittenhouse to purchase for him the rifle that was used in the Aug. 25, 2020, shootings, according to a criminal complaint against Black. They had agreed to keep the rifle at Black’s stepfather’s house, both testified.
An investigation by the Antioch, Illinois, Police Department found the weapon used in the shootings had been “purchased, stored and used in Wisconsin,” according to an October 2020 statement from the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.