A motion by the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office filed on Wednesday requests that Rittenhouse be ordered to stay away from bars and supposed “white supremacist” and militia groups as part of his bond deal. The move comes one week after he was spotted at a local tavern with his mother and a group of friends alleged to be members of the Proud Boys, where he was seen flashing the much-maligned ‘OK’ hand signal as he posed for photos.
“In these photographs, the defendant and other adult males flashed the ‘OK’ sign, which has been co-opted as a sign of ‘white power’ by known white supremacist groups,” the DA’s office said, noting that Rittenhouse drank a total of three beers in the 90 minutes he was at the tavern.
Soon after arriving to the bar, Rittenhouse – wearing a t-shirt reading “Free as f**k” – was “loudly serenaded by 5 of the adult males in his group with the song ‘Proud of Your Boy,’” the motion goes on, referring to the Proud Boys as a “violent white supremacist group” and to the song as their “anthem.”
Currently out of custody on a $2 million bond, Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty to charges including first-degree intentional homicide last week, maintaining he was defending himself when he shot three people – two of them fatally – amid protests and rioting in Kenosha last summer. The incident was captured on film in a variety of livestreams, appearing to show Rittenhouse being chased in the moments before shooting erupted, sparking heated public debate about whether he fired in self-defense.
Richards, citing the DA’s motion, also blasted prosecutors for what he called a “not-so-thinly veiled attempt to interject the issue of race into a case that is about a person’s right to self-defense.”
Though the Proud Boys are an avowedly right-wing group that vocally supports President Donald Trump, the group’s leader Enrique Tarrio – who identifies as “Afro-Cuban” – has repeatedly denied any connection to “white supremacy.”
“I denounce white supremacy. I denounce anti-Semitism. I denounce racism. I denounce fascism. I denounce communism and any other -ism that is prejudiced towards people because of their race, religion, culture, tone of skin,” Tarrio told a Florida Fox affiliate last year.
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