Not long after his identity was revealed, the seventeen-year-old Illinois teen accused of committing a double murder in Kenosha, Wisconsin was the intended beneficiary of an online fundraiser in his name.
The fundraiser raised $705 on GoFundMe before apparently being taken down by the site.
It is unclear who registered the short-lived campaign; the fundraising page bore the suspect’s name and photograph as well as the message, “Hey this is Kyle, i got myself in a pretty bad situation but I’m completely innocent and was just protecting myself against these Marxist tyrants. #Trump2020”:
The page also incorrectly identified the suspect as a resident of Kenosha; he is actually from Antioch, Illinois, where he was arrested the day after the fatal shootings. He has been charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide and is being held without bond at a juvenile detention facility in Lake County, Illinois.
GoFundMe did not respond to a request for comment regarding the apparent attempt to raise funds on behalf of the suspect.
The authorities of the two people killed by the suspect have not been released; they have been described as a 26-year-old man and a 36-year-old man. A third man, also 26, was wounded by the suspect.
Kenosha police chief Daniel Miskinis seemingly suggested during a press conference on August 26 2020 that demonstrators shared in the blame for the incident for being out past a locally-imposed curfew. “Everybody involved was out after the curfew. I’m not gonna make a great deal of it,” Miskinis said:
The point is, the curfew’s in place to protect. Had persons not been out in violation of that, perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have had happened. Last night a seventeen-year-old individual from Antioch, Illinois was involved in the use of firearms to resolve whatever conflict was in place. The result of it was, two people are dead.
The fatal shooting took place amid an ongoing series of protests following the extrajudicial shooting by police of 29-year-old Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer on August 23 2020. Blake — who was apparently unarmed — was shot seven times in the back while law enforcement was allegedly responding to a “domestic incident.” According to attorneys for Blake and multiple eyewitnesses, he was trying to de-escalate the situation when officers arrived at the scene.
“His family believe in miracles, but the medical diagnosis right now is that he is paralyzed and, because those bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae, it is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake, Jr. to ever walk again,” attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Blake’s family, told reporters.
GoFundMe did not respond to a request for comment.
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