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What This Viral Post Gets Wrong About the Kenosha Shootings
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What This Viral Post Gets Wrong About the Kenosha Shootings

It claims a protester tried to ‘take on a man protecting his business with an AR rifle.’

A viral Facebook post claims to show a picture of a “rioter [who] thought he could take on a man protecting his business with an AR rifle, using his pistol.” The post has been shared 10,000 times since August 26.

This image is from the Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, and shows one of three victims of the shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night. The suspect is Kyle Rittenhouse, who is not a “man protecting his business,” but a 17-year-old who crossed state lines and traveled from his hometown about 30 minutes away in Illinois to patrol the streets with a semi-automatic rifle. Information about what occurred that night is still sparse, but after being chased by a group of protesters, Rittenhouse is alleged to have shot one man in the head, prompting  a crowd to once again give chase, with some shouting “That’s the shooter.” As reported in Thursday’s Morning Dispatch, “video [of the second shooting] shows a man believed to be Rittenhouse run down a street pursued by several people, then tripping and falling. As one jumped on him and another approached from the side, he fired several more times—killing one and wounding the other.” The man in the viral photo was shot and wounded after the two fatal shootings. Rittenhouse has been charged with six criminal counts, including first degree reckless homicide and first degree intentional homicide.

The viral post’s presentation of what occured in Kenosha gets the identity of the suspected shooter wrong and leaves out key context about the shooting. 

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Photograph by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Alec Dent is a former culture editor and staff writer for The Dispatch.