DALLAS — A photo of a Texas police officer posing for a selfie with Kyle Rittenhouse has sparked outrage on social media.
The photo was posted to the Thrall Police Department’s official Facebook page earlier this month. It has since been removed, but the image is circulating widely on social media.
In the photo, an unnamed officer is standing with a smiling Rittenhouse.
“Make those stops, you never know who you might meet,” the post read. “Today it was Kyle Rittenhouse, welcome to Texas.”
The department, roughly 40 miles northwest of Austin, later edited the post to read: “I must have missed something, I believe that this young man was arrested, charged, indicted and then found not guilty by a jury of his peers. Is this not how our country works anymore? The hate in these comments is terrible, if you have information that is contrary to that I would honestly love to hear it.”
But commenters on social media said they were angered the department would post the photo to its official page.
“Rittenhouse should not be celebrated as some sort of celebrity,” one person said on Facebook.
Another wrote, “Ok so don’t trust the Thrall police department. Understood.”
At age 17, Rittenhouse drove from his home in Illinois to Wisconsin during a 2020 protest over the shooting of a Black man by a white officer. Armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, he said he wanted to help law enforcement protect property.
The teenager was accused of killing two men and injuring a third with his rifle. He was acquitted last year of felony charges, arguing that he acted in self-defense.
Rittenhouse recently said he planned to move to Texas to attend Texas A&M University. After the university said he had not been accepted, he corrected himself and said he plans to attend Blinn College, a two-year public college in Brenham.