Prosecutors are looking to modify the bail conditions of Kyle Rittenhouse after he was spotted at a bar drinking with his mother. Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and five other accounts for allegedly openly firing on protesters and killing two men during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in August. However, Rittenhouse was not immediately arrested, causing an uproar across the country about the relevance of white privilege.
Underage drinking isn't the issue in this case, as Wisconsin allows for those under 21 to drink if they are with a parent or legal guardian of the legal drinking age. The issue is who Rittenhouse was with alongside his mother: members of the Proud Boys. The group of adult men serenaded Rittenhouse with the Proud Boys’ anthem, NBC News reported.
Security footage from Pudgy’s Bar not only depicted Rittenhouse drinking with members of the far-right hate group, but flashing a sign favored by white supremacists. While demonstrating this symbol is not a violation of his bail conditions, Kenosha County prosecutors believe it should be, Milwaukee television station TMJ4 reported. According to prosecutors, Rittenhouse was seen at the bar on Jan. 5, the same day he pleaded not guilty to his felony homicide charges.
According to a motion filed Wednesday and obtained by TMJ4, the Kenosha County District Attorney's Office requested that Rittenhouse be prohibited from drinking alcohol at a bar or restaurant, prohibited from “publicly displaying symbols and gestures that are associated with violent white supremacist groups,” and prohibited from having any contact with known members of violent or white supremacist groups.
The conditions of his bond currently do not restrict him from entering a bar, drinking, or contacting hate groups. Prosecutors believe if Rittenhouse continues to meet with known members of hate groups, witnesses may possibly face intimidation, CNN reported.
Rittenhouse, now 18 years old, was released from Kenosha County Jail after posting a $2 million bail in November. According to NBC News, his bail money was mostly raised by conservatives through a legal defense fund.
While the Proud Boys have denied they support white supremacy, the group has consistently engaged in both politically and racially motivated violence. Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have noted that the “gang” is violent and hateful, with "anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.”
Daily Kos has reported numerous stories on the actions of this extremist group, including a report on a viral compilation video depicting group members openly calling “for violence generally” and emphasizing the use of violence to express themselves.
While the court has not yet set a date to consider the prosecutors’ request to modify bail, Rittenhouse is set to appear in court on March 10, with jury selection beginning March 29.