Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general and a prominent surrogate for President Donald Trump’s campaign, on Tuesday defended Kyle Rittenhouse – the 17-year-old charged in the shooting deaths of two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin – as “a little boy out there trying to protect his community.”

Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, is facing six charges, including one count of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the shootings of three people, two of whom were killed. The shooting happened after 11 p.m. Aug. 25 during the third night of protests after a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back.

Bondi told FOX News’ Hannity how that prosecutors have been too hasty to charge Rittenhouse, who had come to Kenosha armed with an assault-style rifle during demonstrations against police brutality.

Pam Bondi, former Florida Attorney General, accused President Trump’s opponent of nepotism, with Biden’s son Hunter and Ukraine as an example.

“There were bullets flying everywhere. Other people were firing, This kid was trying to help people. Were there people killed? Absolutely,” said Bondi, who has been active within the Trump campaign and spoke at the Republican National Convention last month.

“You’ve got a little boy out there trying to protect his community,” she said. “Should he have been out there with a gun? No. But should he have been charged with murder? We just don’t know yet.”

Rittenhouse’s lawyers argue the teenager was acting in self defense and his prosecution has become a rallying cry for pro-gun groups who emphasize the constitutional right to bear arms.

He is being charged as an adult in Wisconsin and would face life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.

Bondi’ comments drew sharp fire on social media from critics who accused her of fanning Trump’s frequent and misplaced rhetoric about lawlessness in cities, especially those run by Democrats such as Kenosha.

More: ‘That’s the shooter’: Witnesses describe the night Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire in Kenosha

“It’s a war zone out there,” she told Hannity. “What’ it’s coming to in these liberal cities when teenagers have to go out there to try to provide aid to other people who are getting injured by these rioters.”

Bondi served as Florida’s top prosecutor from 2011 to 2019.

More: Dallas school district investigating after teacher listed Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse as ‘hero’

Critics on social media accused her of having a double standard when it came to another 17-year-old: Trayvon Martin, a Black youth who was shot and killed on Feb. 26, 2012 while walking back from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida, in a case that helped spur a national debate on racial justice.

Though Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of second-degree murder charges thanks to the state’s Stand Your Ground law, Bondi had helped select the special prosecutor in the case and defended the decision to press charges.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pam Bondi calls Rittenhouse ‘a little boy’ trying to protect community





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