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Kyle Rittenhouse speaks at Western Kentucky University as hundreds protest outside

Protesters outside the Kyle Rittenhouse speaking event at Western Kentucky University on March 27, 2024.
Jacob Martin
/
WKYU
Protesters outside the Kyle Rittenhouse speaking event at Western Kentucky University on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

Kyle Rittenhouse spoke at Western Kentucky University Wednesday while on a college tour sponsored by the right wing group Turning Point USA.

Amid the drone of protest chants, Kyle Rittenhouse spoke about his personal experience shooting and killing two people at a 2020 protest, while at a student sponsored event on Western Kentucky University’s campus Wednesday.

The WKU local chapter of the rightwing organization Turning Point USA invited Rittenhouse to speak on the Second Amendment and the “lies of [Black Lives Matter],” according to a website ticketing the event. His visit followed less than a week after Rittenhouse left the stage in Memphis amid questions from protesters at another university speaking engagement.

Rittenhouse spoke for roughly 20 minutes recounting the story of how he killed two people and wounded a third at the Black Lives Matter Protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was later acquitted of crimes related to the shootings.

“I have a right to share my story,” he told the crowd during the question and answer session that followed. Both supporters and detractors asked Rittenhouse questions.

Several hundred protesters gathered outside before and during the event, at times drowning out Rittenhouse’s voice.

WKU student Malick Diallo said he attended because he stands against the values Rittenhouse represents.

“We all feel angered that WKU is facilitating a space for Turning Point USA to bring in a man who not only propagates violence and vigilantism, and promotes the idea of white supremacy,” Diallo said.

WKU sophomore Maxwell Hoover said he attended the event because he wanted to hear what each side had to say.

“I’m also interested to see both sides of the argument… so (I’m) coming out here to see all the protesters and seeing everyone to support,” Hoover said.

News of the event received immediate pushback from WKU faculty and students and Bowling Green community members since Rittenhouse's appearance was announced nearly two weeks ago. Multiple law enforcement agencies were on hand during the event.

WKU Chief of Police Mitchell Robinson confirmed there were no arrests made during the evening.