Alabama Republican congressional nominee Barry Moore not only publicly praised an accused killer Saturday but he's apparently standing by the decision, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. Moore posted and deleted a meme saying the teen accused of shooting and killing two people and injuring a third "fought back" during a protest in Kenosha, Wisc., the newspaper reported.
In an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser, Moore then said he aims to repost the meme with a warning for graphic content and a list of “the number of deaths, assaults, rapes, and other crimes that have taken place across the country as a result of these riots.”
The meme follows anti-police brutality protests throughout the nation after a Minneapolis cop’s decision to kneel on the neck of George Floyd for more than eight minutes. Floyd, a Black man, later died in police custody, and since his death, there have been countless other incidents of police violence. Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black father, was paralyzed when a white Kenosha cop repeatedly shot him in the back at point-blank range in front of his three children last Sunday. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old vigilante, allegedly showed up at a protest for Blake with an assault rifle and used it to terrorize those protesters. Moore, apparently considering the terrorism honorable, told the Montgomery Advertiser he somehow wasn’t trying to encourage vigilantism. “I don’t think you encourage that,” he told the newspaper. “But I don’t think it should have come to this.”
Yael Eisenstat, a visiting fellow at Cornell Tech, said she tried to report Moore’s meme on Facebook but encountered an error message. “Seriously? He’s promoting violent acts against protesters & praising a murderer. Do your policies mean anything?” she asked.
Phyllis Harvey-Hall, the Democratic nominee running against Moore in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, called Moore’s post “unacceptable” in a statement she released on Twitter Saturday. “One would think a lawmaker would know better than to defend extrajudicial killing,” she said. “This is not Christian conduct and Alabamians deserve better. There should not ever be a time where a lawmaker sees fit and feels comfortable promoting violence.
”As our nation grapples with ending systemic inequality, we need leaders committed to fairness, compassion, and working towards unity, not division.”
Moore, however, is far from the only conservative supporting Rittenhouse. College Republicans United, a Republican student group at Arizona State University, is donating money to Rittenhouse's legal defense, The Associated Press reported. And President Donald Trump liked a tweet from political commentator Tim Pool describing the gun-totting teen as "a good example of why" he "decided to vote for Trump.”
In a Twitter thread, Pool ranted:
“Violent extremists were destroying people's lives for months, 30 people were killed
Democrats rejected Federal assistance every time Trump offered it
Media lied about Trump deploying ‘secret police’ (...)
Finally some kid from a nearby town, about 20 minutes drive, decides to go up and protect businesses and offer medical support o people, even the rioters
He was threatened and shot at”
It’s interesting that the only deadly shooting resulting from recent protests in Kenosha was reportedly at the hands of a white vigilante and not the demonstrators the far right seems to be so dedicated to painting as violent.
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