Kyle Rittenhouse says in a new interview with Fox News that he's "not a racist person" and supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rittenhouse was acquitted Friday on five charges stemming from killing two men and wounding another during the unrest that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.
"This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense," the 18-year-old tells Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview set to air Monday night. Rittenhouse is white, as were the men he shot.
The Associated Press also reports that Rittenhouse told Carlson that he supports the Black Lives Matter movement and supports the right to protest peacefully. He also denied accusations that he is a racist.
Rittenhouse was 17 when he traveled from his home in nearby Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha on Aug. 25 as protests gripped the city following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man.
Rittenhouse and others armed themselves to protect local businesses from looters and vandals. Several buildings in the area had been vandalized and damaged in the days prior when protests grew violent.
The testimony at trial showed that later in the evening, Rittenhouse separated from the people he had banded together with to protect a used car lot. At that car lot, Rittenhouse encountered protester Joseph Rosenbaum. During that encounter, Rittenhouse shot and killed Rosenbaum as he ran away from Rosenbaum.
A video then showed Rittenhouse running while people chased him.
That's when a still-unidentified man tried to kick Rittenhouse in the head. Another man named Anthony Huber hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard. Rittenhouse opened fire, killing Huber. Rittenhouse also fired at the first unidentified man but missed.
Moments later, a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, appeared next to Rittenhouse with a pistol. Rittenhouse fired and shot Grosskreutz in the bicep. Grosskreutz survived the shooting and testified during the trial.
Rittenhouse continued down the road, and at one point, passed a police line. The video showed Rittenhouse raising his arms. Police told him to go home, and they continued on their way to the shooting scenes.
Rittenhouse turned himself into police the next day.
The Rittenhouse case and subsequent trial have divided the nation along the fraught topics of gun rights and race.