Twitter pundit Rob Gill – apparently triggered by a conspiracy theorist who sees Russian bogeymen behind every evil act – has threatened mob justice if the teenager charged with shooting three protesters in Wisconsin is acquitted.
“Kyle Rittenhouse will be served justice and pay for his crimes, either by the justice system or by his fellow Americans,” Gill tweeted on Friday. The Black Lives Matter supporter, who has more than 25,000 followers on Twitter, blocked replies to his message. He later took his tweets into social-media hiding, allowing only approved followers to see his recent and former posts, amid heavy backlash.
Gill posted his tweet in reply to a post earlier Friday by Eric Garland, a self-described “intelligence analyst and advisor to CEOs and governments.” Garland, while reacting to a New York Times article about Rittenhouse securing legal counsel, said, “After a while, you start to see connections between young men weaponized to become mass murderers and Russian operatives of various types.”
After a while, you start to see connections between young men weaponized to become mass murderers and Russian operatives of various types.More to come, sadly. You will be *pissed* on *many* levels. 🤬 https://t.co/Se91wVbzNm
— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) August 28, 2020
Garland, who has more than 250,000 Twitter followers, cryptically added: “More to come, sadly. You will be pissed on many levels.” It’s not clear what Russian connection Garland was implying between Rittenhouse and “Russian operatives.” The Times article pointed out that the 17-year-old shooter hired a law firm that has represented two people with ties to President Donald Trump: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former campaign adviser Carter Page.
“I don’t think he knows what he is saying,” one commenter reacted to Garland’s theory. “He is just sprinkling in the Russian bogeyman, Orange Man bad argument into an article that should have been one sentence long. It should have read ‘Accused shooter secures legal counsel.'”
I don’t think he knows what he is saying. He is just sprinkling in the Russian boogie man, Orange man bad argument into an article that should have been one sentence longIt should have read “Accused shooter secures legal counsel”. That is the only actual fact in this article.
— Forest Yule (@ForestYule) August 28, 2020
But Gill was worked up enough to call for vigilante justice, if necessary. Rittenhouse was charged Thursday with first-degree murder and attempted homicide after killing two people and wounding a third during a BLM protest Tuesday night in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Supporters have argued that videos of the incident show Rittenhouse acted in self-defense while being attacked by rioters.
Some Twitter critics have called Gill a “coward” for restricting comments while promoting violence against Rittenhouse. Others noted that Twitter bans some conservative content while permitting “advocacy for lynching.”
Another netizen picked apart the logic of Gill’s threat: “I have already passed judgment on the Kenosha shooting case despite not having all the details. Therefore, if the justice system, which will hear all the evidence, finds Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty, I will enact vigilante mob justice. I know better than everyone – Rob.”
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