Angry Protesters Disrupt Kyle Rittenhouse Event At Univ. Of Memphis

Kyle Rittenhouse. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:43 PM – Thursday, March 21, 2024

Enraged protesters at the University of Memphis interrupted a Turning Point USA (TPUSA) event on Wednesday night that featured Kyle Rittenhouse.


Rittenhouse was asked by TPUSA’s college chapter at the institution to speak about the Second Amendment and self-defense, but as some students interrupted the Q&A and chased participants off campus, footage from the event shows that chaos broke out soon after.

The Tennessee college engaged in “unprecedented actions to undermine our event,” according to TPUSA, after informing prior ticket holders that their seats were no longer reserved and that they would need to rebook.

“Seizing control of seating arrangements and the ticketing system on the day of the event has never happened in our many years of campus organizing,” TPUSA spokesperson Andrew Kolvet said in a statement. “This abrupt change will result in hundreds of disappointed students whose tickets will no longer grant them entrance into the venue.”

“Despite being promised control of 50 seats,” according to TPUSA, the organizers were only allowed to occupy one row of eight chairs.

According to Kolvet, the group “gathered credible information” that protesters were given access to the updated ticketing information by school administrators in an attempt to fill seats ahead of a planned walk-out.

“There is no way these groups could have known the new ticketing timing and protocol without school administrators leaking that information,” Kolvet asserted.

In the days preceding the event, some students were encouraging other students to email school administrators in order to persuade them to cancel Rittenhouse’s appearnce, according to a number of social media posts on X (Twitter).

“A murderer who wants to speak on the ‘lies’ of BLM should not be welcome on our campus!” one post said. 

After the event ended, demonstrators started following guests while booing them. State troopers attempted to lead them off campus, according to multiple videos that were posted to X.

“No justice, no peace!” protesters are heard yelling in one video.

Another video shows demonstrators blocking the exit and chanting obscenities in one of the university’s parking garages.

Rittenhouse stated in a video that was posted on X shortly after one in the morning on Thursday that it was a “great event,” with “interesting people to say the least.” Additionally, he claimed that despite the fact that the event had a “hard cutoff” time of 9 p.m., he was not “pushed off stage,” like other news outlets have reported.

After taking the lives of two people and injuring a third on August 25th, 2020, the second night of civil unrest in Kenosha, Rittenhouse was found not guilty on five counts.

When the then-17-year-old shot Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, all White men, in the violent Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots that followed the police shooting of a 29-year-old Black man, Rittenhouse’s defender contended that he was acting in self-defense after being attacked from behind.

Prior criminal records of the men who were shot by Rittenhouse showed charges of child molestation, domestic violence, and disorderly conduct.

Rosenbaum “had spent most of his adult life in prison starting at age 18 for sexual conduct with five preteen boys,” according to NPR. His girlfriend had also pressed charges after he assaulted her in July 2020.

The second man who was shot by Rittenhouse, Huber, had spent time in prison twice, first for violating probation after strangling his brother and again for assaulting his sister, the Post reported. In Kenosha, Huber had attempted to hit Rittenhouse over the head with a skateboard, which is what prompted Rittenhouse to defend himself.

Grosskreutz, the only one out of the three who survived, was arrested and charged in 2010 for hitting his grandmother in the face during a dispute, during which he also threw a lamp and damaged a wall, according to New York Post.

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