On Wednesday, a Wisconsin Assistant District Attorney (ADA) filed a motion in Kenosha County Circuit Court seeking a new warrant for the rearrest of the teenage fascist shooter Kyle Rittenhouse and an increase in his bail by $200,000.
The motion by ADA Thomas Binger stated that Rittenhouse “has violated the conditions of his bond by failing to update his address in writing with the Court within 48 hours of moving, thereby preventing the Court from monitoring his whereabouts.”
Eighteen-year-old Rittenhouse has been charged with six offenses, including first degree intentional homicide, after he shot three anti-police violence protesters with an AR-15-style assault rifle—killing two of them—in Kenosha on August 25.
Rittenhouse, a supporter of Donald Trump and the reactionary Blue Lives Matter movement, traveled from his home in Antioch, Illinois to volunteer as an armed vigilante during anti-police violence protests sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake two days earlier by Kenosha officer Rusten Sheskey.
Significantly, in response to the prosecutor’s filing, Rittenhouse’s lawyer Mark D. Richards submitted a counter motion stating that a Kenosha Police captain advised him to provide a false address for Rittenhouse, in violation of the terms of his release.
In an accompanying affidavit dated February 3, John M. Pierce—who was the shooter’s attorney who posted his $2 million bail—states, “After arriving at the Public Safety building, I reported to Joint Services and tendered the ordered bond amount for Kyle. I was instructed to fill out a form and provide Kyle’s personal information, including his address and social security number.”
Pierce then states, “While I was completing this form, I was approached by a Kenosha Police Department Captain, who offered his assistance. … The Kenosha Police Captain told me that ‘I absolutely should not’ provide the address of the physical location of the Rittenhouse Safe House on the form, but instead to provide his home address in Antioch, Illinois.” Pierce said the reason he concealed the address was “due to the number of threats made against Kyle and his family.”
Pierce concluded his statement by saying, “To the best of my knowledge and recollection, I believe the Kenosha Police Captain who assisted me in completing the form on November 20, 2020 to have been Captain Tim Schaal.” The city website identifies Tim Schaal as the Third Shift Commander of the Patrol Division of the Kenosha Police Department (KPD).
In other words, according to Rittenhouse’s lawyers, a top-ranking police official in Kenosha sympathetic to the fascist shooter advised his legal representative to intentionally falsify his whereabouts and violate the terms of the bond agreement.
In response to the extraordinary declaration by Rittenhouse’s lawyers, the KPD issued a statement on Thursday that said Schaal had been misidentified by Pierce and was a lieutenant at the time and that he “was on a regularly scheduled day off and had no contact with Mr. Pierce.”
The KPD went on to push responsibility for concealing Rittenhouse’s whereabouts back onto the shooter’s legal representatives, “A Kenosha Police captain did have a brief conversation with Mr. Pierce, regarding security concerns raised by Mr. Pierce, surrounding the Kyle Rittenhouse release from custody. The conversation did not include instructions about how to fill out paperwork. It is the responsibility of the defendant and his/her representation to complete bond paperwork completely and accurately. It is the further responsibility of the defendant to comply with conditions of bond.”
Whatever the truth of what happened at the Kenosha Public Safety building when Rittenhouse was released on bail in November, it is known that his legal team was financed and supported by the far-right. This included the fund-raising support of pro-Trump attorney and QAnon proponent Lin Wood, who was instrumental in collecting the $2 million needed to post bail.
Meanwhile, it is known that there is support—as was demonstrated by the stand-down of the Capitol Police and National Guard and composition of the mob during the assault on Congress on January 6—within law enforcement agencies and the US military for fascist politics. It has also been documented that federal law enforcement officials, including Department of Homeland Security agents, were directed to make public statements that were sympathetic to Rittenhouse.
From the day that Rittenhouse carried out the shootings in Kenosha, he was lauded as a hero by the far right. Less than a week after he shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, Trump promoted the claim that the shooter acted in “self-defense.”
The fact that Rittenhouse was not residing at the address provided by attorney Richards at the time of his release was discovered when prosecutors attempted to deliver a hearing notice which quickly came back to the court due to a lack of a forwarding address.
In his filing, ADA Binger wrote, “In a criminal case as serious as this one, it is critically important that the court be able to monitor the defendant’s whereabouts at all times. After all, it is extremely unusual for a defendant facing a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in Kenosha County to post cash bond and be released from custody pending trial. Rarely does our community see accused murderers roaming about freely.”
Kenosha prosecutors were also alerted to the ongoing relationship between Rittenhouse and the fascist right when surveillance video and still photos surfaced showing the shooter and his mother at a bar in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin shortly after he pled not guilty in a virtual hearing on January 5. Rittenhouse posed for photos with members of the Proud Boys organization, was loudly serenaded by the members and then flashed the “OK” white-power hand gesture while wearing a t-shirt that said “Free as F*ck.”
The Kenosha District Attorney’s office filed a motion at that time to modify his bond conditions that would prohibit Rittenhouse from consuming alcohol or having any contact with militia members or any violent white power/white supremacist groups or organizations including the Proud Boys.
Rittenhouse is scheduled for an appearance in court on March 10 and jury selection is set to begin on March 29.