A Republican student group at Arizona State University is being slammed for launching a fundraiser to help the 17-year-old gunman who fatally shot two protesters in Wisconsin during a demonstration sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
College Republicans United (CRU) announced Friday that half of any funds they raise during the semester will go toward paying for the legal defense of Kyle Rittenhouse,
‘He does not deserve to have his entire life destroyed because of the actions of violent anarchists during a lawless riot,’ the group said in a tweet, announcing the drive.
However, in a rebutting statement published Saturday night, a separate group, ASU College Republicans, denounced CRU as a ‘radical, far-right extremist group’, and urged the university to investigate them.
Rittenhouse, of Illinois, has been accused of shooting dead 26-year-old Anthony Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum with an AR-15 in Kenosha last Tuesday.
The victims were part of anti-racism demonstrations occurring in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, who was left paralyzed from the waist down after being shot seven times in the back by police as he was attempting to get in his car.
The teen was formally charged with intentional homicide, one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment. He was taken into custody on Wednesday.
Rittenhouse told police he was trying to protect businesses and people and acted in self-defense. College Republicans United shared the same view, insisting he was acting to keep the city from descending into chaos.
‘Kenosha has devolved into anarchy because the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it,’ the group said. ‘They stood back and watched Kenosha burn. Kyle Rittenhouse is not a vigilante but a citizen who attempted to help in a city in chaos.’
The club said it does not condone the deaths of his victims, but notes they were ‘not model citizens’.
ASU College Republicans are calling for the university to launch a formal administrative investigation into the fundraiser and the operation of ‘the organization dubbed College Republicans United.’
‘We do not associate with nor condone their recent actions involving contributing to the legal defense fund of a man who shot and killed several Americans in Wisconsin,’ according to the statement.
The university acknowledged they were aware of the fundraiser, saying ‘while there is no policy prohibiting student groups from raising funds for a cause such as this, ASU does not endorse or support this effort.’
The university said it will be meeting with CRU to ‘learn more about this decision’.
In their statement denouncing CRU, ASU College Republicans also accused the group of a pattern of ‘blatantly racist and anti-Semitic conduct’.
CRU, which split from the school’s main Republican group around three years ago, previously came under fire last year after members of the group were found to have made racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic posts on social media.
CRU has not yet returned a DailyMail.com request for comment on how much the group has raised so far.
The group is not the only one raising money for Rittenhouse. A self-described Christian fundraising site, GiveSendGo, says it has raised more than $100,000 for his defense.