A2 | JOURNAL-NEWS | FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 COMPLETE. IN-DEPTH. DEPENDABLE. FROMPAGE ONE MINNESOTA WISCONSIN Garage leveled by home with Trump flags Shooter portrayed as ‘American patriot’ himas— a crazy militiamember out to cause harm and start a revolution,” saidRobert Barnes, a prominent Los Angeles defense attorney. Rittenhouse’s high- profile defense and fund-raising teams, led by Los Angeles-based Pierce and Atlanta attorney LinWood, respectively, refused tospeak toThe Associated Press about their strategy ahead of the teen’s next court appearance Friday, a hearing in Illinois on whether to return him to Wisconsin. that has helped raise nearly $2 million for Rittenhouse’s defensemay not work with a jury considering charges that could put the teen in prison for life. Legal experts say there could be big risks in turning a fairly straightforward self-defense case into a fight for freedomthat mirrors the law- and- order reelection theme President Donald Trump has struck amid awave of protests and riots. “They’re playing to his most negative characteristics and stereotypes, what his critics want to perceive end game is to strip away the constitutional right of all citizens to defend ourcommunities,” says the voice-over at the end of a video released thisweek by a group tied to Rittenhouse’s legal team. “Kyle Rittenhouse will go down in American history alongside that brave unknownpatriot ... whofired ‘The Shot Heard Round the World,’ ” lead attorney John Pierce wrote this month in a tweet he later deleted. “A SecondAmericanRevolution against Tyranny has begun.” But such dramatic rhetoric ByBernardCondon AssociatedPress The way lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse tell it, he wasn’t just a scared teenager acting in self-defensewhen he shot to death two people during protests and riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was a courageous defender of liberty, a patriot exercising his right to bear arms amid rioting in the streets. “A 17-year- old citizen is being sacrificed by politicians, but it’s notKyle Rittenhouse they are after. Their T-shirt, and saw three people running and picked up a box of matches. Once the fire was under control, Deana Molla said, police showed thema photo of the graffiti on the garage door. Therewas one Trump flag on a camper and a second one along with an American flag on a pickup truck, she said. She recalled a troubling experience her husband had about10daysagowhileworking in downtown Minneapolis on a construction site. His pickup with the Trump flag was parked nearby, when someone “drove by slowly and took pictures,” she said, and feceswas later left at his vehicle when he went on a water break. “I think things have gottenway out of control,” said DennisMolla, whowas born in Ukraine andmoved to the United States at age 4. “I’m not one of those confrontational people. ... I just feel very sorry for my parents, just because they wanted to leave the USSR for us to have a better future and life in America. ... For them to see me express my beliefs as a Republican, it’s crazy to think it came down to this.” While troubled by the antiTrump messages left on his garage, Dennis Molla said, “It shouldn’t affect howpeople vote.” Police Cmdr. Garrett Flesland said that while investigators pursue a motive, “everything is on the table. We are keeping our minds and our ears open. We’re just going to let the evidence take us where it goes.” ByPaulWalsh TribuneNews Service Asuspicious fire before dawn Wednesday in a Minneapolis suburb destroyed a freshly vandalized residential garage where Donald Trump presidential campaign flagswere displayed, authorities said. Police and firefighters responded to the blaze in the 6900 block ofN. Morgan Avenue in Brooklyn Center shortly before 4 a.m. that burned down the detached garage and totaled three vehicles inside, according to police. Minor damage was done to the house, andwere no injuries were reported. Officers and firefighters helped the family save three dogs and four puppies from the home, police said. “This fire is considered suspicious, and our investigation remains extremely active,” a statement from police read. O f f i c e r s s aw wh a t appeared to be fresh spray paint on the garage that read “Biden 2020,” “BLM” and an “A” with a circle around it, according to police. The symbol often is a reference to anarchy. Deana and Dennis Molla told the Star Tribune they were asleep in the house along with their 2-year-old son and 5-month-old daughter when the fire erupted. “We heard an explosion that shook the house,” said DeanaMolla, who ran to the basement where her husband was finishing up his final day of quarantine after contracting the coronavirus. She said her husband climbed out of a basement window in his boxers and MINNEAPOLIS— Protests released f rom the hospital. OfficerRobinson Desroches, a Black man who joined the force 18 monthsago, wasshot intheabdomenand underwent surgery. Schroeder said he was in stable condition. Larynzo D. Johnson, 26, was charged in the shootings with two counts of assault on a police officer andmultiple charges ofwantonendangerment of police officers. An arrest citation said police had video of Johnson shooting at officers as they tried to disperse a crowd. It was not clear if he had a lawyer. In Washington, Senate MajorityLeader MitchMcConnell condemned the violence in his home state and called the officers’ shootings acts of “despicable cowardice thatmust be met with the full force of the law.” Taylor’s case has exposed the wide gulf between public opinion on justice for those whokill BlackAmericansand the laws underwhich those officers are charged, which regularly favor police and do not often result in steep criminal accusations. continued fromA1 the tragic death of a young womanandthe continuation of a long pattern of devaluation and violence that Black women and men face in our country, as they have historically.” “The question obviously is: What do we do with this pain?” the mayor asked. “There is no one answer, no easy answer to that question.” Activists, celebrities and everyday Americans have been calling for charges against police since Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by officers after one of themwas fired upon and woundedwhile conducting a raid in a narcotics investigation in March. Theofficershadano-knock warrant, but the investigation showedthey announced themselves before entering, said state Attorney General DanielCameron. Thewarrant was connected to a suspect who did not live there, an ex-boyfriend of Taylor’s, and no drugswere found inside. Activists said they would press on with their calls for justice after a single officer waschargedWednesdaywith Larynzo Johnson Police and protesters clash, Wednesday in Louisville, Ky. Agrand jury indicted one officer on criminal charges six months after Breonna Taylorwas fatally shot by police in Kentucky. JOHNMINCHILLO/ ASSOCIATED PRESS Millennium Park, chanting demands for justice as drivers on Michigan Avenue honked their horns. Police in Atlanta used chemical agents andmade arrests after some protesters tried to climb on a SWAT vehicle. In Minnesota andWisconsin, marchers peacefully blocked highway traffic. In Louisville, Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said the two officers shot during protests were “doingwell and will survive their injuries.” Maj. Aubrey Gregory, a Louisville officer for more than 20 years, was shot in the hip andwas treated and wanton endangerment for shooting into apartments neighboring Taylor’s. “In our distress, we reaffirm our dedication to the eradication of systemic racism in our city,” the group Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice said in a statement. “We will keep showing up, speaking up, and joining the movement for systemic change led by Black people.” Hundreds of demonstrators chanted Taylor’s name andmarched in cities Wednesday including New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Portland, Oregon. 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