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Online store stops selling Rittenhouse family's merchandise

·1 min read
This Oct. 30, 2020 photo provided by the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department shows Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wis. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two protesters days after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wis. earlier this year. (Kenosha County Sheriff's Department via AP)

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — An online sales company has stopped selling merchandise supporting an Illinois teen who killed two people and wounded a third during a protest in Wisconsin this summer.

The Kenosha News reported Thursday that Kyle Rittenhouse's family began selling “Free Kyle” merchandise through Printify last week. Printify creates custom products for designers and sells them online.

The company tweeted that it has terminated the Rittenhouse family's account because it violates a policy banning content that promotes or condones violence.

“We have chosen to discontinue our business relationship with this store in order to mitigate business risk,” the company said in a statement. “Ultimately, we don't want to be affiliated with a store that's involved in such a complex, controversial and ongoing case.”

Prosecutors have accused Rittenhouse, a white 17-year-old, of opening fire on Anthony Huber, Joseph Rosenbaum and Gaige Grosskreutz during a protest in Kenosha on Aug. 25. The protest was sparked after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, who is Black, in the back seven times during a domestic dispute. The shots left Blake paralyzed from the waist down.

Rittenhouse faces multiple charges, including first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide. The teen has maintained he fired in self-defense and conservatives have rallied around him, working to raise money for his legal defense.

Kimberley Motley, an attorney representing Grosskreutz, called the merchandising effort “vile and disgusting and in extreme poor taste."

According to FreeKyleUSA social media, which the Rittenhouse family operates, the family is trying to secure another company to handle merchandising. They criticized Printify's decision to drop them as “a powerful, concerted effort solely focused on preventing the truth from getting out.”